Global Corporate Purpose Tracker animated logo Global Corporate Purpose Tracker animated logo
Measuring Trust in Business and Consumer Demand for International Corporate Activism

Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 | By Sonnet Frisbie

Consumers are demanding new and different kinds of corporate activism. In a world where trust in institutions has been on the retreat and ethical consumerism on the rise, people increasingly look to companies to take action on important geopolitical issues like addressing climate change and cybersecurity, human rights, and forced labor.

To help leaders chart a path forward, Morning Consult’s Global Corporate Purpose Tracker follows consumers’ expectations surrounding corporate activism and gauges global trust in business on a monthly basis across 17 countries, while diving deeper into the expectations of U.S. consumers specifically. The tracker is updated quarterly.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Technology companies enjoy high consumer trust in all markets surveyed, as opposed to business leaders and large corporations more generally, which saw low consumer trust on balance in at least one-third of the markets surveyed.

Majorities of adults in all 17 countries say they prefer to buy from brands that reflect their social values. U.S. adults were the least enthusiastic at 58%, compared with 61%, 66% and 69% of adults in the United Kingdom, Germany and China, respectively.

Millennials’ opinions of brands’ global behavior fluctuate the most compared with other generations. Between May and July, the share of millennials who said they think companies are becoming more globally aware dropped 6 percentage points. On average, millennials and Gen Z adults became less convinced that the brands they buy from behave ethically overseas.

U.S. consumers want CEOs to speak out on global issues. They are particularly avid about corporate leaders taking action on issues that are central to business operations, like cyberthreats and labor practices.

Global Consumer Trust in Business

Net Trust in Business Leaders, Large Corporations and the Tech Industry Across 15 Global Markets
“Net trust” is the share of adults who said they trust each category “a lot” or “some” minus the share who said “a little” or “not at all.”

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Ethical Consumerism Around the World

Values-Based Consumerism

Share of adults who said they “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer to buy goods and services from companies that reflect their social values

Global Corporate Purpose: The View From the United States

Shares of U.S. Consumers Saying Companies Have Become More Globally Aware
Consumer Perceptions of Brands’ Overseas Practices

Shares who said they “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that the brands they frequently buy from employ ethical business practices abroad

U.S. Consumers’ Willingness to Punish Brands for Their Global Practices

Shares who said they would “probably” or “definitely” stop purchasing from companies for each of the following reasons:

Consumer Demand for CEO Action

Share of U.S. adults who said it is “very” or “somewhat” important for business leaders to speak out or take action on each of the following issues:

Related

About

Methodology

The Global Corporate Purpose Tracker relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. Interviews are conducted online toward the end of the indicated month. Data are weighted to approximate representative samples of adults in each country.

U.S. data reported in the tracker comes from a monthly survey conducted in the United States among representative samples of roughly 2,200 adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

For all other countries, surveys are conducted monthly among representative samples of roughly 1,000 adults per country, each with an unweighted margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

About Morning Consult

Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Learn more at morningconsult.com.

About the author

Sonnet Frisbie is managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) on Morning Consult’s Geopolitical Risk Analysis team. Sonnet leverages the company’s high-frequency survey data to advise clients on how best to integrate geopolitical risk into their decision-making.

Email press@morningconsult.com to speak with a member of Morning Consult’s Geopolitical Risk Analysis team about the Global Corporate Purpose Tracker.