With the U.S. recording the fastest increase in inflation since 1990, FGH’s Research and Insights team asked our insight community of 300 news-attentive Americans who they hold responsible and what it means for how businesses act and communicate.
They found community members are largely sympathetic toward business— with a common perception that companies are struggling to stay profitable in the face of rising costs and are, in the words of one participant, “just keeping up with the bills.”
Seventy-eight percent believe prices are going up because businesses are dealing with increasing costs versus only 21% who say prices are going up because businesses are trying to increase their profit.
Democrats and Millennials/Gen Z are more inclined to express skepticism about whether businesses are using this as an opportunity to lift up profits or maximize shareholder return.
So what should business do to stay ahead of the issue?
- Monitor for any disquiet on product quality. Comments were made by our community that they’re noticing a decline in the quality of products they usually buy. They are looking for peace of mind that product quality will not decrease despite higher costs.
- Keep in mind rising support for labor. For others, the current situation puts an additional spotlight on the need for fair pay for workers and the rights of labor to be looked after.
- Tread carefully on green policies. With many businesses understandably focused on ESG and net zero commitments, be mindful that a segment of conservative voters are likely to blame green policies for contributing to rising prices.
- Meet consumers’ need to plan ahead. Looking ahead toward the holiday season, community members stress the need for more communication – not less – on supply chain issues so consumers can plan ahead.