MONDAY 28 JUN 2021 11:49 AM


Brand consultancy, Wolff Olins, and global insight agency, Hall & Partners, released its Conscious Brands 100 list, which saw Microsoft, Headspace, YouTube, Pfizer, Google and Netflix celebrated as the world’s most responsible brands.

The list was created in response to increased consumer demand for companies to act more responsibly in terms of ethics, sustainability and social issues. The findings show how brands can rapidly grow their global frame and relevance if they adapt strategy to match changing consumer attitudes.

The index defines a 'conscious brand' as an organisation that is responsive to people’s needs, moods and culture. It must also take responsibility by helping people, communities and the planet. Technology was at the forefront of people’s personal and professional lives this past year as it allowed human and business connections to continue despite national lockdowns. As a result, Microsoft, YouTube and Google placed top, third and fifth respectively.

Vanella Jackson, Global CEO of Hall & Partners, says, “There is a growing need and opportunity for brands to show leadership and bring consciousness into their brand and marketing strategies. And, in doing so, help create a virtuous cycle of doing good between business, brands and consumers.”

Microsoft scored highly for its development of Microsoft Teams, which became an essential tool for employees working remotely. During the pandemic, Microsoft used technology to help research Covid-19 vaccinations and donated a total of $1.9bn to non-profits, nearly $4bn to diverse-owned businesses and drastically reduced its carbon footprint in 2020 alone.

The rankings reflect the internal and external shift prioritising mental and physical health. The meditation and mental wellbeing app, Headspace, ranked second while Pfizer placed fourth after becoming a household name for its development of Covid-19 vaccines. Netflix placed sixth for its effort to tell more diverse stories and contribute to culture while people were confined to their homes.

Twitter and Facebook scored surprisingly low on the moral performance index. Despite launching its conscious sustainability collection, H&M also scored poorly for ‘inspires sense of community’, while Deliveroo scored poorly for ‘speaks up for what is right and wrong in the world’, despite huge increase in business during the pandemic.

The world’s leading brands are scored according to six key criteria: empathy, reform, multisensory, collectivism and morality. This was measured through a global survey of 9,000 consumers rating 223 brands in the UK, US and China.