The Challenge of Good – the brands consumers love, and why

Jo Jamieson

18 Sep 2014

Back in July, the Good Relations Group launched the first phase of our Triple G research, looking at the DNA of a “good” B2B technology company. We found that business technology buyers value softer factors – such as brand, peer recommendations and CSR – just as much as they do the hard factors, such as features, benefits and price.

This morning, we unveil the second phase of the research – a wide-ranging perception study involving 12,000 consumers and 120 consumer-focused brands from the automotive, entertainment,  finance, FMCG, health, media, property, retail, tech, telco, travel and utilities sectors.

We asked Brits which companies they think do the right thing by them; have good relationships with their customers; and are worth recommending. We then awarded each brand a Triple G rating – 0, 1, 2 or 3 Gs – depending on how well consumers scored them for good actions, good engagement and good recommendation.

Never have consumers been better connected, or had as many platforms from which to observe, scrutinise and share their thoughts. And sure enough, the British public proved to be a tough crowd: just 16 out of the 120 brands scored three Gs.

Top of the tree were retail and FMCG brands, such as Cadbury, John Lewis, Waitrose and Weetabix, But the Harvard team was also interested to see tech companies scoring well: Samsung, Panasonic and Sony were all awarded three Gs in the study. Product-based tech companies, in particular, proved good at engaging with consumers and inspiring advocacy among their customers.

Amazon and PayPal were also awarded three Gs. While you might argue that these brands sit in the retail and financial services sectors respectively, they also both see themselves as tech brands. Technology is the foundation on which their businesses sit, and it gives them a striking competitive edge over traditional retailers and payments companies.

These brands both scored highly for good actions. The fact that neither is a complete stranger to controversy is perhaps a reason to look at this in more detail. We found, when analysing consumers’ comments on good actions, that they were largely based on personal experience – “me” was more important than “we”. So to the consumer, being good is as much a question of meeting individuals’ needs, providing clever solutions and a high quality of service, as it is being good at CSR.

The full report, “The Brands Consumers Really Love, And Why”, can be viewed on the Good Relations Group website and contains further insight around the data.

This exclusive research gave us a fascinating insight into the tech and telco sectors. If you’d like to find out more, please give us a ring or send an email: +44 (0)20 7861 2800 /