In its newly released global research report, Cone Echo Research highlight the opportunity for business to build a stronger relationship with consumers by meeting their expectations that business will address social and environmental issues through their operations, their products and services and their unique expertise.
The trend is global as evidenced by the results in ten countries and the 10,000 people who were surveyed. And not surprisingly, communication is critical in bridging the gap between perception and reality.
- 93% of consumers say they want to know what companies are doing.
- 91% of people say they want to be heard as well.
This means that reciprocal communication is more than an expectation, its essential in building a strong connection with consumers. And critical to overcoming the confusion, skepticism and even cynicism among consumers.
- 89% of consumers globally believe companies share only the positive information about their efforts, while withholding the negative.
- 71% are confused by the messages companies use to talk about their efforts and impacts.
- 61% of consumers believe a company is telling the truth about its social and environmental efforts and impacts, but this varies widely by nationality.
Trust is more complex.
The more trusting a country’s consumers are in business, the more confused they are by a company’s messages. These consumers are putting great faith in the words of business, even though they don’t necessarily understand the messages themselves. In return, they don’t ask for perfection, simply the truth. Nearly nine-in-10 (88%) say it’s ok if a company is not perfect, as long as it is honest about its efforts. This permission presents an opportunity for companies to speak candidly about tough CR issues to build trust.