Released 23rd May 2013

survey conducted by Ogilvyearth has found that 88.2 per cent of South Africans are increasingly likely to boycott a company which is acting in an environmentally irresponsible manner.

92 per cent of the 800 consumers surveyed stated they were interested in how businesses and brands are affecting the environment and that this alone could influence choices at the checkout.

Companies need to gain the trust of consumers, not through the use of excessive marketing spin but through true and tangible sustainability strategies, the report said.

Melissa Baird, Ogilvyearth strategist said; “Uncertainty rules when it comes to green claims made by companies. Nearly 60% of the survey sample say they can’t trust green claims made by brands and businesses and nearly 70% think that green claims are just another money spinner.”

The result is that companies struggle to have a direct influence on their reputation as a sustainable brand, as 93 per cent of people are more likely to trust the word of someone like themselves than the words of the company.

This figure is backed up by another study conducted by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility who say that consumer reviews, blogs, social media, and friends and family are more trusted sources; with only one in 10 consumers relying on courses under the company’s direct control. “Companies no longer own their brands” says Raphael Bemporad, co-founder of brand innovation consultancy BBMG.

May 23rd, 2013

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