People in emerging markets are more optimistic about the future and the globalized economy, and are increasingly engaging in ethical consumerism
GlobeScan’s research shows that there is a pronounced difference in optimism for the future between people in emerging economies, who tend to be much more hopeful, and those in the OECD countries, where fewer than half believe that future generations will enjoy a higher quality of life than we do today. People in China, India, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia are particularly optimistic about the quality of life of future generations.
Augmented appreciation of the benefits of globalization, defined as the increased trade between countries in goods, services, and investment, may be feeding into growing optimism. Globalization is increasingly perceived by people in emerging markets as having a positive effect on people’s interests, including significant increases in large countries such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia.
While remaining strongly optimistic about the future, people in emerging markets are also increasingly driving ethical consumption. Consumers in the non-OECD markets are now more likely than those in OECD member-countries to claim to have rewarded, as well as considered rewarding, responsible companies. Results show large increases in the proportion of those rewarding socially responsible companies in several key emerging markets, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Other results show that emerging market consumers are significantly more trusting of large companies, and they may also be more positive and receptive toward purpose-driven initiatives by large companies and more likely to engage in ethical consumption going forward. In contrast, continued distrust in companies’ motives may be creating a barrier to consumer demand for more responsible products in industrialized countries and may partly explain the decline in those claiming to have rewarded responsible companies in North America and Europe.
These findings emphasize the growing importance of emerging market consumers in driving the transformation toward purposeful and sustainable brands and business models. Companies should increasingly turn their attention toward these key markets where consumers are highly receptive and excited about a better future.
GlobeScan Radar is a global survey conducted online among samples of 1,000 adults in each of 25 countries, weighted to reflect general population census data. The research was conducted during April and May of 2019.