- Consumers worldwide are growing to distrust institutions and their fellow citizens, while their preference for local culture and perspective is growing, according to new research by McCann Worldgroup's Truth Central global intelligence made available in a news release.
- The study revealed that 72% of people believe that global institutions like the World Bank and United Nations don't understand the needs of their country. On the flip side, consumers show a higher positivity toward brands, with 81% of those surveyed believing global brands can play a vital role for good. Many consumers think global brands contribute to local cultures and society. Most consumers, or 56%, said they trust local brands over global brands, an increase from 43% who reported the same sentiments in 2015.
- Consumers believe that "truth is the most valuable currency" across all conversations, and, on average, they feel the need to review five sources of information before they feel like they know the truth. Seventy-two percent of respondents think it's important to put truth above all factors, while 77% of people believe that social media was created to bring people together but that it now divides people.
In today's divisive political climate, brands appear to be coming out ahead, garnering more positive sentiments than governments or other institutions and being seen as key contributors to what defines culture. This is likely welcome news for marketers that are eager to rebuild trust with consumers who have grown increasingly wary of practices like data collection and non-transparency in the digital advertising space.
McCann Worldgroup's findings also reinforce global businesses' growing interest in learning from smaller, local brands, a trend that has been reported in other research from groups like Kantar Millward Brown. Consumers continue to hold brands to a higher standard and expect them to take a public stance on social and political issues. Many consumers, particularly younger ones, also make no qualms about calling brands out for perceived misdeeds. At the same time, those same consumers are more likely to reward brands that they feel support their identities and meet their needs.
McCann Worldgroup's report is also in line with other research underscoring people's complicated relationship with social media. Gen Z, often considered the most mobile- and tech-savvy generation, has a paradoxical view of social platforms. Recent research from Hill Holliday's Origin group found that Gen Z members feel that social media makes them anxious or depressed, but also that it has more benefits than drawbacks. Thirty-four percent of Gen Zers surveyed for the study said they were leaving social media for good.