Consumers Increasingly Expect Business to Step Up in a World Where the Stakes Have Ramped Up

Research of our sister company FleishmanHillard in six global markets across more than 30 Industries reveals where there are opportunities for companies
to be more authentic

Against the backdrop of immigration, trade wars and polarized governments, FleishmanHillard’s 2019 Authenticity Gap study explores what role consumers believe business should take in addressing societal, political and business challenges in different parts of the world. Consumers expect companies to take a stand on those issues that companies either create, impact directly or control. In particular:

  • Improved data security and privacy topped more than 20 issues consumers ranked as being important to see companies more actively address. There’s an expectation for companies to do the right thing and self-police – 73% of consumers want to see protection practices that go beyond regulatory mandates.
  • 69% of consumers globally say, to be more credible than competitors, a company must talk about its behavior and impact on society and the environment, not just the customer product benefits it offers.
  • Perhaps in response to a growing tide of automation and AI, 77% of consumers globally said it was most important that their employer help further develop their skills and career opportunities.
  • Consumers don’t care about CEOs’ personal beliefs, rather they want them to stick with issues that have an impact on the business’ customers (74%), products and services (72%) and employees (71%). Consumers know companies can’t fix everything, but they expect them to be active on those issues most under their control.

Check out the other research results on the website of FleishmanHillard. Or view the most important outcomes of last year’s Dutch Authenticity Gap study.