26 February 2021
Over the past month, colleagues and I have been poring over 1600 answers to the question ‘how important do you think [these] issues are at the moment? The result has been the Causes That Count Index – an annual tradition where Revolt ranks the Top 50 in what really matters to global consumers.
So what does? It’s not an easy question to answer. With so many challenges at home and around the world, consumers are constantly barraged with negative information, warnings for the future, and live streamed conflicts.
But one of our biggest learnings from this research has been that the media does not always accurately reflect people’s true interests. Given all the mainstream issues of 2020, who would’ve thought that ‘access to water and sanitation around the world’ would rank in the Top 10 for all markets? There were no global headlines discussing it, no event that shook the world.
At a time when we’re led to believe that people are becoming more protectionist in their outlook, we saw that consumers remain deeply concerned about global issues. Brazilians, for example, ranked ‘Extreme poverty around the world’ higher than ‘poverty, hunger, homelessness in my country’ (both Top 10). This is not to say that the two are competing issues, but in a country where the poverty rate is 19.8%, it is likely to take many by surprise.
Political issues were taken most seriously, as expected. 7 of the Top 10 were under government responsibility following a year where the role of the state has been brought to the fore. But it’s worth highlighting that 10 environmental issues featured in the top 40. This is an encouraging sign for the sustainability movement, and one that demonstrates how the message is finally getting through – whether it’s through personal experiences (China had a difficult year), to hearing global names shouting louder than everyone else.
So back to business. Why do these consumer issues matter? At Revolt, we work with brands to build Purpose and identify how that comes to life in action and communication. It’s important that businesses hone in on the issues where they can have the most impact, but it’s also valuable to understand how this aligns with society’s real concerns.
We hope that this Index gives you some insight in the breadth of issues that need addressing, and which ones consumers are thinking about this year.
But it shouldn’t stop there. The next step will be to identify the fights within the fights, the nuances, the overlooked issues that not only create differentiated purposes but provide the potential to deliver the biggest impact on issues we know people truly care about. To see what those could be, take a look at our findings report, available at the bottom of the Index.
More broadly, we’d like you to see it as an invitation. The top 50 provides the snapshot, but if you’re interested in digging deeper into the data to find out what it means for your brand, business or audience we’d love to take you through the findings – email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.