Inspired by the rise of brands that are seeking to connect with what’s happening in the real world and weigh in on what their audiences are talking about, the study asks two important questions: How should we define culture from a consumer’s point of view? How do consumers think about culture in relation to the brand they interact with?
Highlights from the study include:
- Being involved in culture is nearly as important as having a strong brand image: Cultural relevance accounts for 25% of product purchase decisions.
- The definition of culture has expanded: When asked how they think about culture in their own lives, 83% of consumers expressed that they think of culture as something other than just the traditional measures such as language, religion, and cuisine.
- Inclusion is imperative: 50% of consumers – and 60% of Twitter users – said that brands seeking to be more culturally relevant should be inclusive of all types of people.
- Cultural relevance matters: While the general population prefers brands of high cultural relevance to brands of low cultural relevance (39% vs. 32%), this is especially true of Twitter users.
- Celebs are not the biggest culture drivers: Celebrity endorsements were the least popular way consumers believe brands can become more culturally relevant.
- Giving back is key, especially for Twitter users: 58% of consumers – and 65% of Twitter users – agree that brands should be philanthropic.
“Brands simply can no longer sit on the sidelines while the most important cultural conversations are taking place and reshaping the world we live in,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, global chief cross-cultural officer, UM Worldwide. “Consumers want to know they are giving their money to companies that share their values and are as passionate about social issues as they are. In short, brands that do good will likely do well.”
“Brands come to Twitter to understand what matters to their audience, and the findings in this study underscore the fact that Tweets are important cues.” said Stephanie Prager, global head of agency development at Twitter. “As consumers become more complex and discerning, its critical for brands to keep pace.”
For this study, consumers were asked about their opinions regarding brand involvement with culture. The second part of the test served both traditional, product-ads and culture-focused ads to participants on their Twitter feed. A post-exposure survey was then conducted to measure a number of key brand metrics – including ad recall, brand perceptions, etc. – and to elicit qualitative feedback.
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