Experienced marketers all instinctively know that consumers are attracted to brands that embody and actualize values beyond their mere products and services. The evidence is broad and proven through the study of successful companies, but until now there was no way to measure this phenomenon. Now a gauge has come along that describes people whose thinking is most evolved in this way – and identifies the companies they favor.
“Aspirationals” is the tag given by brand-innovation consultancy BBMG to consumers who are most looking for brands to act in the best interests of society as well as their companies. This cohort now represents more than one-third of consumers globally and are defined by their love of shopping, desire for responsible consumption and trust in brands to act on behalf of humanity.
Their favorites as the world’s most responsible companies, based on a new global survey by BBMG and GlobeScan? Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, .Tata, Unilever and Nestle.
“Aspirationals are looking for companies they can believe in, and they want brands to stand for something bigger than a product or service,” Raphael Bemporad, co-founder and chief strategy officer at BBMG, said in a press release.
“The world’s most responsible companies recognize that being relevant in the future means delivering on a more holistic value proposition based on high performance, authentic relationships and concrete social and environmental actions.”
We see at least two other key takeaways here.
First, the ranks of Aspirationals are growing, to 38 percent this year from 36 percent last year, according to BBMG’s survey of nearly 21,000 consumers across 21 international markets, performed earlier this year. We expect that growth in proportion by Aspirationals to continue and probably accelerate.
Second, just about any type of brand can be their favorite companies. They can be makers of high-calorie sugar water, like Coke; makers of oil-burning automobiles, like Hyundai and Honda, which also ranked high; or even energy companies like Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.
The point is that Aspirationals – and all consumers who like to see sublime expressions of values by the brands they favor – tend to look more closely at the holistic picture represented by a brand than just what they sell or make. And that is a good thing for brands.