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The Social Acceptability Index: A Hypothetical Variable To Determine A Brand’s Success

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Social acceptability is a cultural construct which is used as a research variable in business research. Be its  strategy, approach, style, method, technology, brand, product or service, everything requires acceptance from different sections of society. Generally we measure the success of any business strategy or brand, through scientific measurement of output or results, which may be in terms of revenues, rate of growth or any other empirical evidences. Actually, it depends on ‘acceptability’ index of the item, which is hardly taken seriously in business research or consultancy. However, on the contrary the status of development of any country or nation is measured against the widely popular Human Development Index, which has been considered as one of the most reliable indicators for assessment of the socioeconomic status of any country. That also plays significant role in policy making and strategy formulation at different levels of government. However, in business there is no such universal standardized index to measure business performance globally or locally. Obviously, there are several quality standards  and other norms, which to some extent defines and recognizes the success parameters in different industrial organizations. Those are norms and standards for measuring ‘procedural efficiency and effectiveness’, not merely their success in the social and market space. For example, long back ‘Bajaj Foods’ launched half or semi cooked packaged foodstuffs with standardized system of productions. But that was not accepted by our society and the venture failed. Similarly, several organizations, including central and state governments are pushing alternative methods of energy productions, such as ‘wind energy’ and ‘solar energy’. But till date the ideas could not create a momentum or acceleration because of lack of adequate social acceptability of the  alternative concepts. As a result, as it has been revealed from web sources, the term ‘social acceptability’ has become synonymous to ‘alternative energy sources’ . This is not a healthy trend. We are approaching a time when the determinant of success of any business, brand, product or service will hardly be limited to parameters like ‘ROI’, ‘revenue generation’ and ‘customer satisfaction’, but by their greater social acceptability.

Hence, it is pertinent that ‘social acceptability index’ may emerge as one of the most preferred domain in business research in the coming years. In future the valuation of any brand can be ascertained not by its ‘revenue model’ or ‘revenue earnings’ but by other parameters, such as its ‘environmental compatibility’, ‘social and economic sustainability’ etc., which could be different inclusive variables of ‘social acceptability index’.

The video embedded critically explores the scope and opportunities of GM products or goods in the emerging society and the importance of ‘social considerations’ over their ‘commercial potentials’.

Another important example can be cited here about the failure of ‘female condom’ because of its poor performance (index) in the social acceptability space. On the contrary ‘male condoms’ have been able to gain acceptability among cross sections of society. It could be one of the best examples for understanding the future research scopes with similar index and related constructs and variables.

Have not yet given up my learning spree. Recently doing internship at Digital Vidya.

  • Digital-Marketing

  • There are 2 comments

    • 5 years ago

      Tarun   /   Reply

      A well written article with a different perspective. Social acceptance is the core of the sustainability of any product/ business in the long term. The century old Tata brand and its products stand for “trust” in the heart and minds of Indian consumers. It has never launched/ continued with a product which doesn’t resonate with the social values of the consumers. And this has differentiated the Tata business group which is standing firm and getting stronger.

    • 5 years ago

      suraj   /   Reply

      There is always a resistance to change when a new concept is introduced in the market. This is true, right from the time when computers were demonized as tools , “man – eating machines” that would ‘devour the jobs of working people. In 1984 Labour day was termed as ” anti computer day” . But today electronification of Banks ( ATM’s, Point of sale payments), Stock Markets ( NSE), Elections( Electronic Voting Machines), Railways ( Computerized Reservation Systems), Telecommunication ( Mobile Network), E- Chaupal for Farmers to buy and sell crops online are all because of a strong infrastructure of Information technology.All this was possible only because of rise in social acceptance for computer over the years.

      Similarly today we are in search of cost effective energy Solutions and social acceptance of renewable energy will improve in the near future with improved support from public.

      Just like computer, renewable energy solutions, any company introducing a new concept to the market must host workshops with its target market to strengthen its social acceptance and overcome the initial misconception about its product/Brand.

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