"HPB believes that making money and contributing to a better world can go together just fine"Back to news overview
Read the article about the MIM research written on Adformatie by Lucas Boon.
More than ever, Dutch consumers think it is important that companies contribute to a better world. But consumers are also critical: almost half (44%) say they distrust the good intentions of companies. This is according to study results from the Social Impact Monitor conducted by Motivaction and Het PR Bureau (HPB). The survey, held annually since 2009, is intended to help companies make "effective social impact”.
Consumers find it particularly important that companies are good to their employees (87%). It also appears that the Dutch consider it primarily the task of companies (73%), politicians (72%) and government (70%) to engage in CSR policy. Significantly fewer assign a role to consumers (54%), themselves (49%) and civil society organizations or charities (48%).
The survey was conducted in August among 1,514 respondents.
Jacqueline Bosselaar, ceo HPB: 'Brands and agencies have a role model function; showing true social commitment, not by greenwashing. That's also about what your supply chain looks like, how you treat your employees and how you come up with real solutions.'
Misleading sustainability claims
At the same time, it is not easy for consumers to take companies' good intentions for the real truth; for example, brands are regularly taken to task by the Consumer & Market Authority, as recently happened to Decathlon and H&M for communicating misleading sustainability claims.
This trend is also reflected in research. For example, only 25% of consumers trust companies to do what is best for people, society and the environment, 35% think that companies handle this responsibly, 70% want companies to communicate transparently about their goals and, as a nominee, 44% distrust the good intentions of companies.
Earning (back) trust
Motivaction and HPB want to make a case for "genuine social commitment”. Bosselaar: "We want to encourage brands not to be deterred from being socially involved and communicating about it, for example for fear of doing it wrong and being accused of greenwashing. Although, we also understand that it can be nerve-racking and almost discouraging. Our advice: be sincere and earn consumer trust by doing and not just telling stories. If trust is damaged, win it back by showing that you mean business and by actions that prove otherwise.”
According to Bosselaar, it is "quite logical" that people distrust companies when it comes to good intentions. 'For decades, the primary goal of companies has been to make profit and the focus was purely on shareholder value. We are now in a transition where more and more companies want to actively contribute to people, the environment and society. Consumers expect this from companies, and want to be convinced that making money and paying attention to the world can go hand in hand. And therein lies the key. But that takes time, effort and action.”