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Do people care about brands’ stances on wider issues in society?

That is exactly the question British poller YouGov asked. People were asked the question: How important, or not, is it to you that the brands you like have a clear/transparent point of view on wider issues in society? 39% of people find it somewhat important, compared to 21% who find it not very important. On the more extreme side; 16% claim it’s very important, compared to 14% who find it not important at all. 10% said they didn’t know.

If you dive a little bit deeper into the demographics, you will find some interesting differences between groups. For example, women care more about brands’ stances on wider societal issues than men. 62% claimed it was somewhat/very important to them, compared to only 49% of men. And the gap in indifference was also significant, 19% of men said it was not important to them at all, compared to only 9% of women.

If there’s anything to learn from this, it is that not all demographics are as eager for brands to speak their mind about policies or ideals. Women generally are more conscious consumers and incorporate more ethical considerations into their purchasing decisions. For example, on average women recycle morebuy sustainable products more often and are more concerned about wasting water or energy. In addition, men often struggle with the notion that they regard sustainable behavior as ‘feminine’, making them wary of participating themselves. That is why it’s important, especially if a large part of your customer base consists of women, to consider taking a stand in important societal issues.

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Douwe Knijff

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Kim Pillen


Before Kim Pillen started as a trend consultant at TrendsActive, she worked for four years as a creative strategist at Dept. For brands such as Philips,, Beiersdorf, JBL, and the Consumers’ Association, she built (online) campaign, brand, and social media strategies. After four years, she decided that she wanted to better understand people and society in order to advise brands more effectively. That’s how she ended up at TrendsActive. Here, she can do what she loves most: digging into people’s needs and then working with brands to see how and where they can be relevant and meaningful.

Douwe Knijff


Douwe is fascinated by how people work. With a background in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Bachelor) and Psychology (Master) and an analytical mind he tries figure out how societal shifts manifest themselves through social culture and human behaviour.

Aljan De Boer

Keynote speaker

Aljan has been widely recognized as an inspiring professional speaker on the critical trends that will shape society in the decades to come. He works as the Head of Inspiration at TrendsActive, a trend consultancy from the Netherlands using social science to human-proof business decision for brands like

  • Disney
  • Vodafone
  • Hugo Boss
  • ASR
  • Rabobank

Next to his role at TrendsActive he is the Community Director at the Institute for Real Growth where he inspires and connects a global community of +400 CMOs.  

He has been on the board of the Dutch Platform of Innovative Marketing for almost a decade. Regular speaker and moderator for the Dutch Marketing Awards and 3 times winner of the best of MIE. 

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees his purpose is to help ambitious leaders and brands to human-proof their business. In 2003 he founded TrendsActive, a trend consultancy enabling brands to become more human centric.

Kees consults global brands like

  • Disney
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Asics
  • Discovery Channel
  • Swiss Life
  • Vodafone

and many more.

Next to being the founder of TrendsActive, he is also initiator of the first academic trend master for executives at the University of Utrecht and is initiator of various trend studies and white papers on subjects like trust, meaning, visual culture & generations.


Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist