Companies that manage their relationship with their stakeholders can attest to the considerable weight that the customer has been acquiring on the stakeholder map in recent years. Consumers are demanding more efforts from companies to offer an optimal and responsible service. These demands must be coordinated through the customer service team, whose level of demand is increasing.
Banks, consumer electronics and technology companies are, along with the food and automotive sectors, little perceived by informed consumers as companies that make efforts in this area, according to the latest study published by Omnicom Public Relations Group, based on the responses of 10,000 consumers in five countries.
This is one of the findings of the consultancy’s report on the “authenticity gap”, a term it attributes to the gap between what brands say about themselves and what their key stakeholders think and perceive about them.
One of the areas where the gap between the two variables is widest is social impact. According to consumers, the companies that need to strengthen their commitment in this field are also consumer electronics, health technology and energy companies. The authors of the report point out that “society no longer buys everything it sees. It now seeks to identify with what it buys or what service it consumes.
When assessing the ethical and responsible performance of companies, the sectors that show the biggest gap with the informed consumer are, according to the study, technology, personal care, pharmaceuticals and energy.
The CEO of Omnicom Public Affairs, José Ramón Caso, believes that “it is true that there are companies that have seen in these challenges a way to differentiate themselves and move forward and have clear strategies that go beyond what is required by regulation and in these cases politicians can and should consider them allies and work together so that these good practices spread throughout the business world and reach the whole of society”.
Another of the reputational levers with ample room for improvement according to respondents is internal communication. The most recognised in this area are the automotive, consumer electronics and energy sectors, compared to the food and beverage, personal care and retail and distribution sectors, where there is a need to improve the employee experience and take care of their strategies.
Many of the companies that want to be recognised as innovative opt for an R&D&I narrative. However, the consumers surveyed do not perceive this commitment in the technology, automotive or energy sectors. The authors of the report point out that “these sectors, where innovation is a fundamental part of their business, generate high expectations in society that are often difficult to meet in the short to medium term, causing the authenticity gap to grow”.