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

Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 | 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.


Trust in business leaders and large corporations has slipped across markets since late October 2022. Negative economic expectations are potentially to blame, as consumers brace for a tough year of possibly tighter monetary policy and more layoffs. Tech companies were relatively insulated from declining trust in emerging markets, but high-profile tech layoffs in developed markets over the past three months saw trust dip slightly, by roughly 2.5 percentage points on average.

Majorities of adults in all 17 countries surveyed say they prefer to buy from brands that reflect their social values. The United States joins Japan and the United Kingdom near the bottom, with 60% of U.S. adults expressing a preference for values-based purchasing.

Chinese adults’ elevated demand for ethical consumerism persists but has moderated slightly in recent months. In August 2022, the share of Chinese consumers saying they wanted to purchase from companies aligned with their social values jumped to 79%, marking a 16 percentage point increase relative to the prior month. The change came just after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, making it likely that Chinese consumers began viewing corporate behavior through a more nationalistic lens at that time. The shift has proved fairly durable.

U.S. consumers continue to cite forced labor in corporate supply chains as the overseas practice that is most likely to drive them to boycott a familiar brand.


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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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


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

Shares who said they 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:




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.

Morning Consult updated its weights for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Spain, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States in January 2023.

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

About the author

Sonnet Frisbie leads Morning Consult’s geopolitical risk offering for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Sonnet spent over a decade at the U.S. State Department specializing in issues at the intersection of economics, commerce and political risk in Iraq, Central Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds an MPP from the University of Chicago.

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

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