Lightspeed Blog

Purpose in Asia: What Matters to Consumers and Why it Matters to Brands

Posted by Becki Southern on Dec 6, 2018

We live in an increasingly socially connected and socially conscious world, causing many global brands to weave purpose into the fabric of their businesses - through mission statements, narratives and campaigns.

As a result, the role of brands has changed from a positive impact in people’s lives, to a positive impact in people’s lives and the world they live in. asiapurpose2

Having a purpose is not just important for altruistic reasons. More and more, purpose ‘done right’ is resulting in profit, with Unilever’s ‘Sustainable Living’ brands growing more than 50% faster than the rest of the business and accounting for 60% of growth in 2016. 

For purpose to work, it needs to be authentic and meaningful. However, in a diverse and multicultural world, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Methods that emerge in the West are not necessarily relevant to a consumer in the East. This has never been more important to local and global brands alike.

With this in mind, we set out with our Kantar colleagues to better understand the nuanced social issues driving Asian consumers, exploring;

  1. What issues matter: the issues Asian consumers see, and the ones they care about 
  2. How issues circulate:where Asian consumers get their information and how they share it  
  3. The role of brands: connecting with Asian consumers through relevant purpose 

A few key findings, from surveying over 3000 respondents across nine markets as well as Social Media Analysis, include;

  • 90% believe brands should get involved, calling for brands to have a voice in issues that matter to them
  • Health, wellbeing and poverty are the most important social issues across the region
  • Asians are 60% more likely to buy a brand more aligned with their views
  • TV was still the channel where most people heard about social issues, however, the rise of social media in many Asian countries is facilitating a more active form of participation. Over half (53%) said that they had 'liked' posts on social media around an issue they cared about, and 45% have shared a post or article. These figures were far higher in emerging markets like Thailand (68%), Indonesia (67%) and Philippines (65%). 

Interested in the full report? 

Download it here!

Topics: APAC, Consumer Insights, Marketing Research Data, Emerging Markets, thought leadership, Data Driven Marketing

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