Do people really care about purpose at the point of purchase?

If 2020 has taught brands anything, it’s that they must play an active role in helping society and creating sustainable solutions for a better future. But how does that influence the decisions people make when it comes to taking out their wallets?

The author(s)

  • Menaka Gopinath President, Ipsos SMX and SIA, NA
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We know from our Ipsos Syndicated Community research that people fundamentally care about social causes. Among our youngest adult generation, 66% of 18- to 24-year-olds prioritize social outcomes over economic growth as key to our future. Regardless of age, people increasingly prioritize social issues, with the impacts of a pandemic, racial inequity and climate change impossible to ignore.

Our Ipsos Better Innovation Model provides a closer look at how people consider social issues in their decision-making processes. It provides a lens to think about what people care about on three levels, from the perspective of Me, My World and The World. Most people, inherently, are focused on building a better future as it relates to Me and My World, with a more peripheral focus on The World. In the moment, when we need something, we’re making decisions closer to Me and My World. But with more thought and consideration, The World becomes a more dominant factor.

When we delved in deeper to what really impacts purchase, people in our syndicated online communities shared that they feel most connected to a brand when they see that brand take action. When a brand takes actions positively impacting their cause people are much more open to praise and support the brand with their wallet.

Above all, people expect brands to take good care of their customers and employees—and that has implications at all levels of Me, My World and The World. Every layer matters in the quest to work toward a better future together. While many people might not have “The World” top of mind in their decision-making process, in their more reflective moments, it can create a tinge of guilt, consideration or wonder—about the landfill their packaging goes into, the warehouse worker packing their order or the ingredients in their dinner.

Brands have an amazing role to play in this better innovation journey. Their path to profitability will depend on how well they bridge personal values impacting Me and My World with the broader needs of The World.

This article was originally published in What the Future Buying, a research magazine by Ipsos exploring current and near-term business realities for the retail sector. Download the magazine here.

The author(s)

  • Menaka Gopinath President, Ipsos SMX and SIA, NA

Media & Brand Communication