Brands can make people happy

Do brands have a role to play in improving people’s well-being or have people become so cynical of brand communications that nothing companies do can have an impact?

Guardian News & Media’s “Mood of the Nation” research shows that people care deeply about companies and brands: having high expectations of how companies should behave, rewarding brands that meet these expectations and feeling worried about less than desirable business behaviours – all findings that mirror the messages from OMD UK’s Future of Britain study.

“Mood of the Nation” surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,141 adults in the UK, and found that 3 in 4 people were concerned about unethical business practices such as tax avoidance, irresponsible treatment of employees and the environment. As the result consumers now have ever increasing demands on business with 79% saying that companies should “know and respect its customers”, 71% wanting to see them “behaving responsibly towards the community”, 64% – “communicating a clear set of values” and 62% demanding transparency. Challenging.

The good news is that 67% of the UK population and even a higher proportion (79%) of the Guardian’s audience can name a brand that makes them happy. In an open-ended question “Are there any brands that make you happy” some 600 brands have been named.


Top 20 brands that make Britain happy



Another bit of good news is that brands can “activate happiness”.

Brands can influence people’s sense of well-being by encouraging them to be more active in all aspects of their life. “Mood of the Nation” research found that being active (as people, consumers and citizens) is the biggest contributing factor to improving well-being: 74% of people with above the average level of being active are happy. And there are rewards for brands too:

  • Happier people are more active as consumers: 86% of people with above the average levels of happiness are active.
  • Active people are more likely to be happy with brands and are also more receptive to advertising and sponsorship.


by Ozoda Muminova, Emerging Platforms Insight Manager, Guardian News & Media

“Mood of the Nation” segments the UK population based on the level of personal happiness, how engaged they are with the world around them, and how active they are as people, consumers and citizens. The research looks at the segments’ attitudes towards brands and their expectations of them. “Mood of the Nation” results are fused with TGI to create a planning tool to enable advertisers and agencies to communicate effectively with people in the UK and help them build trust, credibility and consumer loyalty.

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