FleishmanHillard Authenticity Gap Study Finds Brands Fail About Half of What Consumers Expect From Them


ST. LOUIS, June 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The FleishmanHillard 2021 Authenticity Gap study released today examines the actions brands need to take to meet consumer expectations.

The study shows that almost two-thirds of consumers (64%) believe that for a company to be more credible than its competitors, it must talk about its behavior and its impact on society and the environment, and not just the customer benefits it offers. He also found that:

  • Three quarters (75%) of the industries studied do not meet customer expectations in terms of respect for the environment. This is particularly important in Germany (75% of businesses fail) and the UK (68% of businesses fail)
  • Ninety-five percent of industries surveyed fall short of expectations when it comes to delivering better value to customers
  • Across industries, consumers expect businesses to commit to improvement, but almost half (45%) fail to deliver innovative solutions.
  • Data security and privacy are at the top of the list of things consumers care about and expect businesses to take action on, and less than half (45%) are willing to let businesses collect their personal information for offer them more convenience and customization.

“With increasingly polarized beliefs, views and facts, organizations around the world need a true understanding of how to communicate authentically, depending on who they are and what the the world expects from them ”, declared John saunders, President and CEO, FleishmanHillard. “They need to be able to hear from the people who are engaged in their industry, understand how they fare against the competition and know what really matters to their audience.”

FleishmanHillard launched the Authenticity Gap study in 2012 to analyze the alignment between consumer expectations and experiences, interviewing informed consumers in five countries about their views on more than 200 companies in 20 industries. The data helps companies assess their authenticity, their shortcomings, and where they stand relative to their industry competitors in terms of customer benefits, societal outcomes and management behaviors.

The main findings include:

Consumers expect leaders to take a genuine stance on key policies and issues such as the environment and public health.

  • Two-thirds (65%) of savvy consumers expect CEOs to speak out on issues that have a significant impact on the company, even if it doesn’t impact the business
  • Three in four consumers (73%) believe CEOs need to have an active voice to support and influence environmental issues and policy change
  • Sixty-five percent of consumers say CEOs should play a role in influencing health policy

Businesses are supposed to be part of the solution, not just the conversation, when it comes to societal impact

  • Although diversity and inclusion practices are becoming paramount for employees, nearly half of consumers (48%) in most markets believe companies can do more to improve the workplace
  • Over a third (38%) of consumers expect businesses to take a public stance on the income gap
  • More than half (55%) of consumers believe that businesses are not committing to doing the right thing, especially in Brazil (75%), China (56%) and the United States (54%)

Consumers don’t expect brands to act on everything they care about in every case

  • The main issues of concern to informed consumers include data security, data privacy, access to affordable and quality health care, access to affordable and quality education, and violence against children. women.
  • The issues that informed consumers expect from businesses also include data security and data privacy, but then diverge to protect the environment / climate change, minimum wage, and wage and income gaps.

FleishmanHillard has developed new strategies to help brands put authenticity into action. To learn more, download the Authenticity Gap Global Report, The Power of Authenticity.

The 2021 authenticity research was conducted by TRUE Global Intelligence of FleishmanHillard, the agency’s internal research practice. The survey covered a total of 10,285 consumers informed in Brazil, China, Germany, UK and US, 18 and over. The “informed consumer” is defined as people interested in or involved in one of the 20 industries studied as part of the 2021 Authenticity Gap research. The survey was conducted online between March 2 and April 16, 2021.

About Fleishman Hillard
FleishmanHillard specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. FleishmanHillard was named PRWeek US Outstanding Large Agency 2019; 2019 Holmes Report North America Top Agency of the Year; ICCO Network of the Year – Americas 2017-2020; PROvoke Media Greater China Consultancy of the Year 2020; PRWeek UK Best Places to Work 2020; Human Rights Campaign Best Workplaces for LGBTQ Equality 2018-2020; and NAFE’s “Best Companies for Women Executives” 2010-2020. The company’s award-winning work is widely recognized, especially at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group and has 80 offices in over 30 countries, as well as subsidiaries in 50 countries.

About Omnicom Public Relations Group
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the world’s largest public relations agencies and agencies specializing in areas such as public affairs, marketing to women, global health strategy and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,300 public relations professionals in more than 370 offices around the world who provide their expertise to businesses, government agencies, NGOs and non-profit organizations in a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group serves its clients through a relentless focus on talent, a continuous search for innovation and a culture rooted in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) which includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare health, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.

SOURCE FleishmanHillard Inc.

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