2021
9
US Social Awareness and Engagement Market Report 2021
2021-12-01T03:02:12+00:00
OX1044553
3695
145858
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Report
en_GB
“Interest and participation in social causes is becoming more widespread among US consumers. With over half of the US population qualifying for Mintel’s Conscious Consumer segment, value-based marketing and cause-driven…

US Social Awareness and Engagement Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Description

“Interest and participation in social causes is becoming more widespread among US consumers. With over half of the US population qualifying for Mintel’s Conscious Consumer segment, value-based marketing and cause-driven business practices are becoming more expected of brands. Conscious Consumers’ outlook on and expectations for brand social engagement can provide brands direction on the most effective ways to build a socially conscious brand reputation that’s authentic and impactful.”
– Lisa Dubina, Associate Director | Culture and Identity

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Consumers’ outlook and personal participation in social awareness and engagement
  • The social issues that consumers feel are currently the most pressing and in need of support
  • Consumers’ consideration of and expectations for brands’ participation in social awareness and engagement
  • Opportunities for brands to engage with consumers through authentic and impactful social engagement efforts

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Target audience overview
      • Figure 1: Social engagement, 2021
      • Figure 2: Number of actions in the past year – Repertoire analysis, 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • All social activism involves social engagement, not all social engagement is social activism
      • Figure 3: Social awareness vs activism, 2021
    • Racial justice, climate change and stopping gun violence are among consumers’ top social issues of concern
      • Figure 4: Social issues, 2021
    • Consumers want brands to be social engaged – but only if it’s authentic, impactful and consistent
      • Figure 5: Role of brands in social engagement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 6: Expectations for brand social engagement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Brands should start by looking internally and remaining accountable
      • Figure 7: Brands’ internal actions, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 8: Cancel culture, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Find creative ways to acknowledge and celebrate awareness holidays
      • Figure 9: Impact of awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Explore ways to support mental health and wellbeing
      • Figure 10: Awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
  3. Target Audience – Key Takeaways

    • Social engagement is becoming the mainstream
    • Primary Activists are more socially involved, but a smaller segment of the population
  4. Target Audience by the Numbers

    • Over half of Americans are engaged in social issues
      • Figure 11: Social engagement, 2021
    • Conscious Consumers skew younger and urban dwelling
      • Figure 12: Social engagement – Engaged Consumers indexed to all Americans, 2021
    • Primary Activists remain a smaller subset of the population
      • Figure 13: Number of actions in the past year – Repertoire analysis, 2021
      • Figure 14: Number of actions in the past year – Conscious Consumers indexed to all Americans, 2021
  5. Factors Influencing Social Engagement

    • The summer of protests and slow progress to racial justice
    • The increasing threat of climate change
    • The growing conversation around mental health
  6. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Social awareness and engagement is an aspect of social activism
    • The majority of Americans are doing the bare minimum to support social causes
    • Racial justice, climate change and gun violence are Americans’ top social concerns
    • Brands have a responsibility to do more than simply raise awareness
    • Authenticity and accountability are key to brands’ social engagement
  7. Defining Social Awareness and Engagement

    • Social awareness and engagement is an effective way to change society, but different from social activism
      • Figure 15: The role of awareness, 2021
      • Figure 16: Social awareness vs activism, 2021
    • Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists believe even more strongly in the importance of social awareness and its difference from activism
      • Figure 17: Social awareness vs activism, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 18: Social awareness vs activism, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Six in 10 Americans consider voting to be a valid form of social engagement
      • Figure 19: Valid forms of social engagement, 2021
    • Primary Activists are more likely to consider boycotting and protests to be valid forms of social engagement
      • Figure 20: Valid forms of social engagement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Among Conscious Consumers, valid forms of social engagement vary by generation
      • Figure 21: Valid forms of social engagement – Among Conscious Consumers, by generation, 2021
  8. Personal Involvement in Social Engagement

    • More than half of Americans consider themselves well-informed on social issues and personally committed to a social cause
      • Figure 22: Personal involvement, 2021
    • Proving support matters
      • Figure 23: Circumference’s full-circle products, 2021
    • Despite claims they are committed to a social cause, less than three in 10 people have participated in any surveyed action, aside from voting
      • Figure 24: Actions in the past year, 2021
    • Social awareness in practice: in consumers’ own words
    • Consumers are aware of their own socially conscious shortcomings
    • Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists’ actions align with their claims of social commitment
      • Figure 25: Personal involvement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Primary Activists are the most likely to involve brands
      • Figure 26: Actions in the past year, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Generation influences the social engagement actions of Conscious Consumers
      • Figure 27: Actions in the past year, among Conscious Consumers – By generation, 2021
  9. Top Social Issues

    • Racial justice, climate change and ending gun violence are the top social issues of concern
      • Figure 28: Social issues, 2021
    • Division is seen among supporting law enforcement and police reform
      • Figure 29: Social issues – Police support vs reform, by generation, by ethnicity and Hispanic origin, 2021
    • Primary Activists are significantly more dedicated to the cause of racial justice
      • Figure 30: Social issues, by Conscious Concerns and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Focus on racial justice: in consumers’ own words
    • Conscious Consumers concerns are broader
    • Consumers are equally torn between feeling social causes don’t get enough attention and feeling there’s too many social issues
      • Figure 31: Outlook on social issues, by Conscious Concerns and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists feel all social issues need support
  10. Role of Brands

    • Brands have a responsibility to support social causes even if social movements don’t need their support
      • Figure 32: Role of brands in social engagement, by Conscious Concerns and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Millennials in particular feel brand engagement is needed in social movements
      • Figure 33: Role of brands in social engagement, by generation, 2021
    • Despite expecting brands to be socially engaged, the majority of the population are also skeptical of the motives behind brand engagement
      • Figure 34: Brand skepticism, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Brands and social engagement: in consumers’ own words
    • Conscious Consumers look to brands to use their platform for good
    • Unengaged and Skeptical Consumers
    • Conscious Consumers
    • Not all brands need to be socially engaged, and not all social engagement needs to be political
      • Figure 35: Expectations for brand social engagement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Gen Z adults have heightened expectations for brands’ social engagement
      • Figure 36: Expectations for brand social engagement, among Conscious Consumers, by generation, 2021
    • Awareness and accountability are key to Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists
      • Figure 37: Social awareness and accountability, by Conscious Concerns and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Younger generations and people of color are more likely to feel that awareness and accountability are impactful
      • Figure 38: Social awareness and accountability, among Conscious Concerns, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 39: Social awareness and accountability, among Conscious Concerns, by ethnicity and Hispanic origin, 2021
  11. Brands’ Social Engagement in Practice

    • The majority of people care more about what brands are doing internally to affect social change
      • Figure 40: Brands’ internal actions, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Primary Activists are more likely to view cancel culture as a means of accountability
      • Figure 41: Cancel culture, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 42: Sephora – We belong to something beautiful, July 2021
    • Primary Activists do not want brands to censor the social issues they support in hopes of avoiding controversy
      • Figure 43: Brand engagement, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Supporting too many different social causes can impact the perceived sincerity of brands’ engagement
      • Figure 44: Supporting multiple causes, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • The majority of people feel that when brands support awareness holidays it helps raise awareness of social causes and issues
      • Figure 45: Impact of awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Mental Health Awareness Month and Earth Day are the top two awareness holidays consumers feel brands should acknowledge
      • Figure 46: Awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 47: Peloton’s “We See You” apparel collection, February 2021
    • Only about a third of consumers recall brands celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month last year, indicating the opportunity it poses for brands
      • Figure 48: Awareness holidays recall, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
      • Figure 49: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex support Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 2020
    • Gen Z Conscious Consumers are keener to celebrate all surveyed awareness holidays
      • Figure 50: Awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
    • Conscious Consumers are more likely to feel brands only need to support the awareness holidays that are important or relevant to the brands
      • Figure 51: Impact of awareness holidays, by Conscious Consumers and Primary Activists, 2021
  12. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Connecting with consumers’ Rights and Wellbeing
  13. Market Opportunities and Brand Strategies

    • Connecting with consumers through the Rights Trend Driver
    • Brands should start by looking internally and remaining accountable
    • Find creative ways to acknowledge and celebrate awareness holidays
      • Figure 52: Old Navy’s new Head of “Fun-cycling,” April 2021
    • Connecting with consumers through the Wellbeing Trend Driver
    • Explore ways to support mental health and wellbeing
    • Snapchat snaps up the opportunity to be a mental health advocate
      • Figure 53: Snapchat: Meet Club Unity, October 2021
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

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