A quarter of consumers have boycotted a brand

December 26, 2017, 1:29 PM GMT+0

New YouGov research reveals six in ten of those who boycotted a brand say they still don’t use it

YouGov’s new Brand Boycotters report explores the nature of consumers that stop using a brand, and underlines how vital it is to placate their anger following adverse headlines. It shows that of those who stopped using a brand, six in ten (59%) still don’t.

Cover ups and product recalls are the top reasons for boycotting a brand (55% and 52%, respectively, of those who have stopped using a brand have done so for these reasons). A third (33%) stopped using a brand because of staff being treated unfairly (i.e. unfair working hours) and three in ten (30%) were prompted by workers in the supply chain being treated badly.

YouGov’s report suggests that although some boycotting consumers do come back eventually, rarely do they use the brand as much as they did before. Indeed, six in ten (59%) say they still do not use the brand, while one in five (22%) went back to the brand they used it less often. Only 17% used it as much as previously.

Overall, nearly half the Australian population (44%) say they “only buy products from companies that have ethics and values that I agree with”. This rises to nearly three-fifths (58%) among those who have boycotted a brand and no longer use it as much as they used to (if at all).

There have been a number of cases of brands getting in hot water with consumers over the past couple of years over issues such as tax avoidance or not treating staff well enough. While it is not as straightforward as saying that every time a brand is seen to misbehave it will lose customers, there is a distinct proportion of consumers who will vote with their wallets.

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