Omnicom duo unveil first “conscious brands” top 100

In these purpose-driven days are brands “conscious” or just self-conscious?

Omnicom duo Wolff Olins and insight agency Hall & Partners have produced the first Conscious Brands 100 survey, reflecting “changing consumer mood and demands as a result of the pandemic.”

There is, they say, “increased consumer demand for brands not only to act more responsibly (to be ethical, sustainable and prepared to take a stand on moral and social issues) but to be more responsive to peoples’ identities, moods and cultures.”

So the Headspace “mindfulness” app comes in second, behind the mighty Microsoft (Teams and all that) and ahead of YouTube, vaccine supplier Pfizer, Google and Netflix.

You have to look hard to find Facebook, Unilever and P&G do OK considering you can’t actually buy one or inject yourself with it.

Wolff Olins global CEO Sairah Ashman says: “There’s no doubt that 2020 marked a dramatic shift in what we value and what’s essential to us as consumers. Unsurprisingly, it’s the brands that helped us to stay connected and healthy or keep boredom at bay that we’ve come to rely on and value the most. Although the success of a brand like Headspace going globally mainstream points to the rise of a more conscious brand and consumer.

“It’s also inspiring to see how quickly relatively young brands like Glossier, Oatly and Beyond Meat have won over consumers at a more local level. And it will certainly be interesting to see if the big pharmaceutical brands can sustain the Covid bump they’re currently experiencing.”

Hall and Partners’ CEO Vanella Jackson says: “There is a growing need and opportunity for brands to show leadership and bring consciousness into their brand and marketing strategies. And, in doing so, help create a virtuous cycle of doing good between business, brands and consumers.

“The ongoing challenge for brands is to connect to their unique role and contribution as a business, clearly linking to their DNA. And doing this consistently and authentically. Anything else risks tokenism. Getting this right means staying even closer to customers, as businesses start to rebuild.”

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