Half of consumers said that corporate branding initiatives, such as advertisements about a company’s values, affect their opinions of that business, according to recent findings released by portfolio website Visual Objects.

The Visual Object survey, which sought to learn what kind of branding materials U.S. consumers encountered in the past year, found that 50 percent of respondents said that company branding, such as an advertisement promoting a business’s values as opposed to its products, affected their opinion of that business, suggesting that brands may do well to follow the practice of aligning themselves with today’s pressing political and social issues.

What types of branding have consumers encountered in the past year?
What types of branding have consumers encountered in the past year?

Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) additionally said that retail branding initiatives, such as in-person or virtual design and layout, also affect their opinion of the company, whether in-store or on a company’s website.

The survey discovered that consumers encounter some branding strategies more than others. According to the survey, the types of branding consumers were most likely to find in the past year included product branding (39 percent), retail branding (37 percent) and service branding (31 percent).

Regardless of its apparent efficacy, however, less than a quarter (22 percent) of consumers reported encountering company branding—like an ad promoting a business’s values—at some point in the past year.

The survey also discovered that age-old word of mouth retains a lot of power in the branding world. More than a third of respondents (36 percent) said that hearing about a company’s services from an acquaintance compelled them to pay for it. Search engine results came in second (15 percent), followed by social media posts (nine percent), television or radio advertisements (seven percent), physical ads such as billboards (three percent) and digital ads such as website banner ads (two percent).

The Visual Objects survey polled 500 U.S. adults in May. Data was collected in-house through Google Consumer Surveys.