A shared mission to help business create a more prosperous society has brought the CBI, Opinium and Porter Novelli, to create the Everyone’s Business reputation tracker. With the opportunities the UK currently faces, from Brexit to the huge impact of changing technology, the debate about the role of business in society matters more than ever. In this joint study we confirmed an ongoing reputation challenge and a damaging disconnect between what the public thinks and what business delivers. The public has described two golden values that all businesses must exhibit if they are to build better relationships and bridge that disconnect.
The more familiar the public are with a business, the more sympathetic their attitude. Perhaps one of the most surprising findings from the research was that the better the public know a sector, the more likely they are to think it contributes to society. Similarly, we also found a link between the public’s knowledge of a sector and the feeling they had a good relationship with those businesses. There is a huge opportunity for more distant businesses to become more familiar.
2. A HUMAN FACE
The British public is looking for the human face of business, they don’t identify with business leaders and want to see businesses represented by someone like themselves. A massive 77% of British people say, Heads of businesses are very far removed from the world of ‘ordinary’ people, reflecting the desire for common ground that the public don’t have with CEOs. It draws us to he conclusion that if businesses can combine the traditional demands of competitiveness, drive and expertise with the modern demands for public empathy, to not just see and hear their customers but to relate to them too, then the public will repay them with loyalty and trust.
Businesses are the source of economic growth, jobs and opportunity in our communities. But businesses can only make a full contribution if people see the value they create. Firms up and down the country must rise to the challenge if they are to help build a more prosperous economy where the benefits are felt by all. With Opinium tracking these themes regularly, the CBI and Porter Novelli will work with businesses to navigate and respond to these findings.
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