Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestlé top the list of the world’s most responsible companies, based on a new global survey of Aspirational consumers by BBMG and GlobeScan released today at the Sustainable Brands 2014 Conference.
Aspirational consumers represent more than one-third of consumers globally (38 percent) and are defined by their love of shopping (93 percent), desire for responsible consumption (95 percent) and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society (50 percent). According to The 2014 Aspirational Consumer Index, brands that deliver exceptional products and services, inspire personal relationships, support community initiatives and protect the environment are most likely to drive perceptions of responsibility.
Others ranking among the top three most responsible companies across the 21 markets include BMW, Carrefour, Ford, Google, Honda, Hyundai, IKEA, McDonald’s, Natura, PepsiCo, Petrobras, Target and Tesco. The findings are based on a telephone and in-person survey of 20,779 consumers across 21 international markets performed in January through April of 2014.
“Aspirationals love to shop, want to consume less and have a more holistic view of happiness beyond material possessions,” said Mitch Baranowski, co-founder and chief creative officer at BBMG. “The real opportunity here is to stop thinking narrowly about prompting one-off transactions and start a much deeper, more collaborative relationship that honors these consumers’ universal aspirations — purpose, belonging, voice, status, participation and impact.”
Highlights of the 2014 Aspirational Consumer Index:
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On the rise: In 2014, Aspirational consumers represent 38 percent of the global population, compared with 36 percent in 2013;
Trust in brands: Half of Aspirational consumers globally say they “trust global companies to act in the best interest of society” (50 percent), compared with 43 percent of all consumers;
Positive Influencers: Nine in 10 Aspirational consumers also say “I encourage others to buy from socially and environmentally responsible companies” (90 percent), compared to 59 percent of all consumers;
Responsible consumers: Similarly, nine in 10 Aspirational consumers say “I believe we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations” (95 percent), compared to 69 percent of all consumers, and that they are “willing to pay more for products produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way” (90 percent) compared to 62 percent of all consumers;
Young and female: Demographically, Aspirational consumers are most likely to represent the GenX (35 percent) and Millennial (33 percent) generations, compared to 34 percent and 31 percent of the general population, respectively, and they are more likely to be female (53 percent) than male (47 percent); and
Strength in emerging markets: Countries with the largest populations of Aspirational consumers include India (58 percent), South Korea (53 percent), China (51 percent), Turkey (48 percent), Russia (47 percent), Indonesia (46 percent), Nigeria (43 percent), Peru (42 percent), Canada (41 percent), the United Kingdom (41 percent), Australia (40 percent), Pakistan (38 percent), Kenya (35 percent), the United States (34 percent) and Brazil (33 percent).
“Aspirationals matter because they are the first to unite materialism, sustainability and cultural influence,” said Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan. “As the largest consumer segment globally, they are the most critical audience to reach and engage if we want to reinvigorate brand loyalty and drive sustainable behavior change at scale.”