Research 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:
"By identifying what their consumers care about most and where they're expected to take a stand, businesses can plan ahead, developing an authentic position," said Marjorie Benzkofer, chief strategy officer and global managing director of the Reputation Management practice, FleishmanHillard. "Our research found that more than half of what shapes consumers' perceptions and beliefs about a company comes from how its management behaves and how the organization impacts society. Companies that are willing to stand up for their values on issues important to their stakeholders can unlock opportunities and position themselves for success."
The Authenticity Gap study analyzes insights from engaged consumers in six countries, examining their expectations and experiences with more than 300 companies in nearly 30 industries. The study provides organizations across industries actionable data they can use to shape their brands and business initiatives — uncovering where they're meeting or falling short of audience expectations in the areas of society, management behavior and customer benefits.
"Our expectations of what companies and organizations should be undertaking is more expansive than ever before. We want companies to be stepping up and speaking up in new ways. In this new environment, it's too easy for an organization's brand promise to fall flat, or worse, badly misstep. Smart insights can save companies money and avoid market-share-eroding crises down the road, ensuring they understand the very different, and sometimes conflicting, expectations within each unique audience group," Benzkofer said.
While this year's study shows remarkable differences by country, global insights across industries include:
Protecting data and privacy is vital
What makes a great place to work is evolving
Just because it's important to a consumer, doesn't mean they expect a business to act
FleishmanHillard has developed new strategies to help businesses navigate the current environment, ranging from communicating around new expectations of corporate purpose, addressing emerging trends in talent and transformation as well as dynamic approaches to issues management. To learn more, download the Authenticity Gap Global Report, Authenticity in Action.
The Authenticity Gap study was conducted by FleishmanHillard's TRUE Global Intelligence™ practice. The survey included a total of 7,364 engaged consumers in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, UK and the US, 18 years of age and older. Engaged consumers represent on average 29% of the population of adults. The survey was fielded online between April 19 and May 22, 2019.
FleishmanHillard specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. FleishmanHillard was named Agency of the Year at the 2017 and 2018 North American Excellence Awards; 2017 and 2018 ICCO Network of the Year for the Americas; 2019 PRWeek U.S. Outstanding Large Agency; 2019 Holmes Report North America Large Agency of the Year; 2018 Large Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK; PR News' Best Places to Work in PR 2016-2018; Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for 2018 and 2019; PR Awards Asia 2017 Greater China Agency of the Year; and NAFE's "Top Companies for Executive Women" for 2010-2019. The firm's award-winning work is widely heralded, including at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, and has more than 80 offices in 30 countries, plus affiliates in 43 countries.
About Omnicom Public Relations Group
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including 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 worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and non-profits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.
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