Politicized consumers driving sentiment towards brands

Ipsos Understanding Society poll finds that despite a majority saying business shouldn’t get involved, most let values affect purchasing decisions

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, June 15, 2021- Just over half of Americans say that they often make consumer decisions based on the political or social values of a company. This comes from a new Ipsos understanding society poll focusing on the impact of our age of uncertainty on the marketplace.

We also find that politicized consumers tend to have the most extreme perceptions of many companies and potentially drive differential consumption patterns.

However, when asked point blank, a slight majority of Americans say that businesses should not get involved in advancing political or social causes. This reflects the fundamental challenge for brands as consumers demand solidarity while at the same time condemning brands that act against their values.

Political partisans more likely to engage in politically driven behavior.

  • Two in five Americans say they often either support a business they agree with or do not support a business they disagree with on a regular basis.
  • About 1/4 of Americans talks to people about the political and social values of businesses .
  • Only one in five Americans say they intentionally support businesses that they disagree with politically.

About the Study

This poll was conducted June 11 – 14, 2021, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,019 general population adults age 18 or older. The sample includes 290 Republicans, 304 Democrats, and 315 Independents.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.23. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on other sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, and race/ethnicity by education. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 March supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–25, 26–39, 40-54 and 55+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian, Other)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Gender (Male, Female)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Age (18-44, 45+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Education (Some College or less, Bachelor and beyond)

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs

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