Corporate Activism in Australia

Photo: Dean Calma
Photo: Dean Calma

In the era of increased transparency, businesses’ reputations are under greater scrutiny. Consumers are focused on not only the services and goods that companies provide, but also the values they represent. Trust is now as important as sales.

Businesses can often be perceived as influential forces, and they need to ensure that they use this influence for good.

This trend was recently studied by a, Powell Tate parent company, Weber Shandwick and KRC Research survey, The Company behind the Brand II: In Goodness We Trust. The report shows that 36% of Australian consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to participate in controversial issues. 86% of Australian consumers believe they can influence businesses.

This is emphasised amongst Australian Gen Xers (56%) and Millennials (57%). Almost six in ten believe that companies should play a public role when it comes to controversial issues such as same sex marriage.

In comparison, and according to another recent survey CEO Activism in 2017: High Noon in the C-Suite, Australians have about the same level of favourability for corporate activism as US consumers do. In the US, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are the most tuned-in age groups when it comes to CEO Activism, in Australia it’s Millennials and Gen Xers who give more relevancy to Corporate Activism.

Half of Australian consumers believe public statements by senior managers reflect company’s values. Again, Australian Gen Xers (59%) and Millennials (63%) are the most attuned to what company leaders and their public pronouncements. Baby Boomers fall well below at 33%.

The pace of information exchange is only increasing. People are listening, they are mindful of how companies and their senior managers behave in the business landscape. It is imperative that companies stay true to their values. This will guarantee that companies communicate the right messages and perceptions.

If you would like a copy of the Corporate Activism in Australia report, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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