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Consumer well-being and social impact are key to reducing the reputational gap of brands

The “authenticity gap” is the distance between what brands say about themselves and what their key audiences expect of them. Sustainability, business management, working conditions and the importance of the relationship with the community are the elements that mark the authenticity gap with informed consumers. Companies that engage authentically in issues of special interest to their public can improve their financial performance, strengthen the connection with consumers, and become more attractive to professionals.


Reputation is more important than ever for companies and institutions, at least for those that need a good relationship with the audience. And if this is built and structured in a positive and transparent way about the social impact that organizations have on their backs, all the better. The report ‘The Power of Authenticity 2022’ by OmnicomPRGroup shows that the changes in perception of reality caused by the pandemic and the socioeconomic crisis have a decisive impact on the relationship that companies and institutions maintain with their reference audiences. Today, informed consumers show that the authenticity gap with companies is born by analyzing the relationship and attention they provide to their customers and by considering their social impact.

This is revealed in said text, which reflects the experience of the communication and public relations agency for more than ten years exploring the alignment between the expectations and experiences of consumers with respect to brands. In 2022, for the first time, the Authenticity Gap has been measured in Spain and Portugal, delving into the opinion of 1,000 informed consumers in 10 key sectors of business activity. “The authenticity gap is an active listening gear that allows companies and institutions to be part of the lives of their audiences. Knowing the valuation of the company constitutes a starting point for reflection on the entire business strategy embodied through the points of contact with each of its audiences. A new strategy that finds in communication the engine to better respond to this examination of the social agents and that today acts as a vector of reputation” affirms Higino Martínez, CEO of OmnicomPRGroup.

The study of authenticity is carried out through the analysis of the nine factors that shape consumer perceptions and beliefs: added value, customer service, innovation, employees, social impact, environmental care, ethical management, sustainable results and communication. credible.

Environmental aspects, the fair distribution of business profits, working and salary conditions in certain sectors or the importance of the relationship with the communities where they work define to a greater or lesser extent the gaps found in the different business sectors. The Report suggests that the medium and long-term analysis of these risks is a key vector for reputation, since it can not only improve business strategies, but also allows us to analyze how the company’s communication is in each area to help reduce the different authenticity gaps that are identified.

The pandemic has had an accelerating impact on the demand towards brands and how they position themselves before their audiences. As detailed in the Report, if before the pandemic the weight of authenticity was based on their behavior and impact on society, now informed consumers place customer service and the perception of the benefits of goods or services as a weight parameter. offered, leaving the social impact and business management in the background.

Thus, we see that informed consumers believe that companies must demonstrate that they implement consumer protection practices, while being culturally aware of the reality in which they operate and listening to the needs and desires of all their customers. Companies and institutions that want to be authentic must commit to change, even before consumers believe their promises, and demonstrate their contribution in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion.

As Higinio Martínez points out, “measuring Authenticity requires the creation of a transversal story that brings together corporate, product and internal communication and transfers these values ​​to make visible its social contribution and its impact on consumer well-being and to act in a coherent manner with what is said in all the contact points and channels where they are present”.

The informed consumers analyzed in the study carried out by OmnicomPRGroup affirm that the gap is minimal when it comes to measuring business management, ethical and responsible behavior or having a stable financial and operational framework, and these are aspects that show the rapprochement between expectations and consumer experiences.

On the opposite side, consumers continue to demand adapted and individualized strategies, stories and messages to demonstrate their true contribution to the well-being and development of society. In this sense, and unlike other years, the 2022 Report places business professionals as the first reference audience for any business strategy, since they consider them one of the pillars for achieving business results.

For its part, sustainability continues to be a highly internalized aspect in society and, therefore, where there is a slight gap or distance with consumers who demand greater commitment, visibility and more ambitious policies from companies.

Likewise, consumers demand that companies continue to open channels of communication and direct attention with their audiences, rethinking the services offered to reduce the gap in attention and customer service and transform the effort made into new growth opportunities. Derived from this gap, innovation is located, an area that, despite concentrating a large part of a company’s human and material efforts, consumers identify an important gap in it that has not been closed in recent years.

From a strategic point of view, in 2022 de la Brecha shows that the visibility and involvement of the senior management of a company or institution has established itself, and informed consumers appreciate that business leaders take sides and position themselves on the issues that affect to society.

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