Havas has launched Conran Design Group network, a new global offering dedicated to brand and design, which combines talent from its existing Havas-owned Conran Design Group, as well as its ‘W’ – Havas’ creative branding agency in France.

The network’s team of 250 strategists and creatives will work across studios in London, Paris, Mumbai and New York with a goal to to inspire progress for clients and empower brands to make a meaningful impact.

“Conran Design Group is uniquely equipped to lead this new network with more than 60 years of experience in strategic brand and design, a holistic approach, and the benefit of global scale with a local touch,” commented Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO, Havas. “W is the natural partner to support the success of this initiative in France with its 25-year track record of helping companies transform to remain at the heart of the conversation and make a positive contribution to society,”

To mark the launch, Conran Design Group has released a new proprietary study, Citizen Brands.

Among its key findings, the study found that the top 20 ‘citizen brands’ – those able to meet the needs of both individual and society – earned £8 billion (US$10 billion) more in revenues on average yearly than their lowest-performing counterparts. They also achieved equity price increases that are on average five times higher than those of the lowest performers.

Through interviews with 105 brand leaders working in large blue-chip organisations and 120 professional investors, as well as 5,000 consumers, the Citizen Brands study identifies six drivers – environmentalism, originality, betterment, assurance, inclusivity and contribution – that can help brand leaders facing ‘expectation inflation’ pursue a better path towards balanced growth.

The study found that top-performing brands, who also achieve higher purchase intent than low-performers, are able to balance all six of those drivers.

“Our study shows that all companies across all sectors need to find a way to achieve balanced growth, critical in an increasingly unbalanced world,” says Thom Newton, global CEO, Conran Design Group. “But rather than prioritising growth alone – growth at any cost – the focus should be on progress, progress that’s both balanced and sustainable. Our new global network, supported and informed by the Citizen Brands framework, will help brands achieve that.”

Meanwhile, two-thirds of brand leaders and investors interviewed feel unable to balance profitability with people and planet, and eight out of 10 struggle to balance expectations around people and planet with the need to maximise shareholder value.

Some 96% fear not being seen to be doing enough in response to key societal and environmental issues, while 88% fear being perceived as too ‘woke’ by focusing on the same issues. Consumers, having to choose between cost and conscience, feel equally trapped: 71% report feeling forced to choose between price and sustainability.

The study was taken across five markets, 10 categories and by 150 brands.

A version of this article first appeared on Campaign Asia.