What influences consumers about companies
While I am on the subject of the corporate brand, I thought I would mention another interesting group of findings from our research. We asked consumers several questions on what influences them when it comes to company perceptions. They report that among other things, the importance of awards/recognition (63% of consumers mention) as well as leadership communications (59% of consumers mention) are influential. As expected, word of mouth ranks at the top of the influence list, regardless of region. Clearly, despite the fire hose of information aimed at us every day, some things are getting across when it comes to distinguishing companies from one another and influencing our decisions to buy some products over others easier. Recognition of companies for doing good or just simply doing well is making a dent after all these years. And leadership communications seems to matter to consumers if CEOs are talking about something that matters. Figuring out what resonates with the public is the hard part for communicators although jobs and education would be two good starts. And a third good start would be the safety of our natural resources. One additional factoid to add for a Sunday in January: In Brazil, awards and leadership communications are even more influential than what consumers in the U.S., U.K. and China say in our study. Brazilian consumers seem to be more receptive to what leaders say in Brazil. Will have to figure out why. Perhaps the connection between the economy and business is more direct than in the U.S. and U.K and China while we are at it. More to come on this challenging subject of the interdependence between the corporate brand and product brand.