We’re Watching You | Consumers Demand Actions from Brands

Consumers demand that brands backup statements in support of Black Lives Matter with actions. Using Suzy, a real-time market research platform, 4A’s Research surveyed 500 white and 500 Black consumers to learn the actions consumers want to see from brands.

Consumers want to see brands donate to social justice causes. This was the most popular action for both Black and white consumers. An Ad Age-Harris Poll survey found that two-thirds of adults are more likely to buy from brands that contribute to organizations that combat racism.

Participant parameters: 18+. 500 Black participants, 500 White participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 6/12/2020 to 6/19/2020.

Changing employment strategies and culture are two actions companies need to undertake. The majority of consumers want companies to take action internally to update policies and establish an equal working environment. In addition, provide anti-racist education, introduce a wage equity plan, and changing hiring and promotion practices are highly-supported actions.

Black women are more likely to support such actions as can be seen below.

Participant parameters: 18+. 500 Black participants, 500 White participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 6/12/2020 to 6/19/2020.

The results show a few differences between Black and white consumers responses:

  • 24% of Black consumers prioritize changing hiring and promotion practices while 18% of white consumers do so.
  • Supporting legislation was the third ranked action for white respondents (22%), while it ranked eighth—tied with increasing representation in ad campaigns—for Black respondents (18%).
  • Black consumers (16%) want companies to make Juneteenth an official holiday, while this was a low priority for white consumers (7%).
  • There was also a 5% difference for brands making vendor/partner decisions based on demonstrated commitment to Black Lives Matter.
  • 17% of white consumers don’t think it’s necessary for brands to take action compared to 6% of Black consumers.
Anticipated follow through on actions

79% of Black consumers and 76% of white consumers think it is likely that brands will follow through on their pledged actions to support Black Lives Matter and only 6% thought it was very unlikely. Across gender, 76% of white men and white women believed it is likely. White men were slightly more pessimistic; 9% thought it was very unlikely. 3% of white women thought it was unlikely. Black men were more optimistic than Black women: 85% of Black men thought it was likely while only 71% of Black women agree.

Participant parameters: 18+. 500 Black participants, 500 White participants. Conducted by 4A’s Research via Suzy on 6/12/2020 to 6/19/2020.

White respondents with incomes $60,000-$74,999 and $75,000-$99,999 were the most optimistic, with 89% and 83%, respectively responding that carrying out actions was likely. On the other hand, only 60% of those with incomes in the $25,000-34,999 thought it was likely that promises would be kept. These results were consistent with the responses by Black panelists as well. 67% with incomes $25,000-34,999 thought it was likely and 91% of those with incomes $75,000-99,000 agreed.

Agencies, brands, and individuals have a lot of work to do to break down systemic racism. Whether or not consumers have faith that this will happen, it is everyone’s responsibility to listen, learn and stand up to actively work toward the goal of equity and inclusion.

4A’s has recently taken several actions in support of Black Lives Matter, including:

  • A guidance for agency leaders, HR and D&I leads to help educate and identify where their organizations can focus and help drive a more equitable, diverse and inclusive industry
  • Partnering with 600 & Rising to call for agencies to dismantle racial barriers
  • Conducting an annual diversity survey to allow for transparency around data in the agency community.

Read more about 4A’s initiatives to stop the pandemic of racism within the advertising industry.

 

4A’s Research will continue to examine shifts in consumer behavior and sentiment on a range of topics. Feel free to email us with topics or suggestions for future surveys.