New research by distillery shows Indonesians & Malaysians want to see more social purpose in brands, compared to Singaporeans
A study into consumer expectations in relation to brand purpose in Southeast Asia has shown that the demand for brands to stand up and act is becoming more prevalent, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia.
85% of consumers in Indonesia and Malaysia will pay more for brands with a positive social impact, compared to just 66% in Singapore. When asked about brands’ stance on social and environmental challenges, 66% of Indonesians and 55% of Malaysians said this will impact their decision making process, with just one third of Singaporeans taking this into consideration.
The research was commissioned by distillery in partnership with research platform Milieu Insight, to assess how important it is for brands to make a positive impact on their communities and the region if they want to win the hearts of their customers. The release of the research coincides with the launch of distillery’s brand purpose white paper, created to educate marketeers and brand managers on putting purpose at the heart of their communications.
With the impacts of Covid-19 alongside the escalation of social issues like #stopasianhate and #BLM, 63% of consumers across the 3 SEA markets are demanding that brands stand up for a cause they believe in. The highest percentage came from Indonesia, with 71% of people saying they agree with that statement. The sentiment is followed by people in Malaysia, with 66% of people expecting brands to stand for something, while in metropolitan Singapore, 1 in 2 people surveyed felt the same.
The importance of social purpose goes deeper than just impacting individual purchase habits and choices. The research showed that 53% of consumers across the 3 markets would tell their friends to avoid buying from certain brands if they disagreed with their moral values. And when it came to career choices, 66% would choose not to work for a brand that didn’t align to their values.
The research also looked at what social and environmental issues were most pressing, with consumers in Indonesia (50%) and Malaysia (62%) highlighting plastic waste as the biggest crisis that brands can help to address, whereas this came out second in Singapore (68%), where sustainable living (73%) was the most important social concern.
“The results of this research have been really eye opening to our team, as we didn’t expect to see such a significant disparity in consumer expectations and demand for purpose between Singapore and neighbouring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia,” said Simon Hearn, Director for distillery APAC. “In Singapore, we’re not as exposed to as many social and environmental challenges on a day to day basis compared to other SEA countries. This research emphasised that brands who want to really build stronger connections with consumers in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, need to put more purpose at the heart of their business and communications.”
To see more results from the survey, or learn about brand and social purpose, click here.