Empathy Value Index Whitepaper 2023

Empathy is the key to connection

If recent years have made anything clear, it is that the world needs connection. And this is where organisations craves make a positive contribution. More than ever, brands need to put time into better understanding and sensing their target groups. Acting and communicating more empathically. Our second Empathy Value Index confirms that empathy remains indispensable for brands. In a sincere and concrete way that really helps consumers.

Less talk, more action.


1. Concrete support is more important than aspirational communication.
In economically challenging times, Dutch consumers attach more value to brands that are honest, that do not make promises they cannot keep and offer concrete support. In previous years, personal growth and social added value scored higher.

2. Dutch people find brands less empathetic in 2023 than before.
On average, brands score significantly lower on brand empathy in 2023 than in 2022. Across the board and in all sectors, brands are losing out on the positive perception of Dutch consumers.

3. Bol.com is the most empathetic brand in the Netherlands.
With a rise of ten places, bol.com leads the Dutch list of most empathetic brands. It is impossible to imagine the Dutch retail sector without the Dutch brand, easily beating major international players such as Zalando and Amazon.

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About EVI

About the Empathy Value Index

The Empathy Value Index (EVI) study is the first-ever evidence-based research tool that maps the relationship between empathy and brands and provides useful insights based on it. The EVI study, conducted in collaboration with market research firm InSites Consulting, reveals four pillars that play a role in establishing brand empathy. What do the Dutch consider important when it comes to brand empathy? And how can brands build on this?

Download the Empathy Value Index whitepaper
A successful empathetic brand is honest, authentic and tells real stories. 
Successful empathetic brands are genuinely interested in their stakeholders' interests, motives and challenges. 
An empathetic brand offers (emotional) support when needed. 
A truly empathetic brand proves that it adds (social) value. 

Let’s connect.

How empathic is your brand?

Want to know more about what Dutch consumers value in brand empathy or how your brand performs on the Empathy Value Index? Contact our Strategy Lead Bob Bruinenberg.

As a 360° communications agency, we put empathy at the heart of our strategic and creative approach. We take the time to get to know you, your market and your target audience. This is how we find out what inspires, excites and brings people to your brand. The campaigns we create are designed to connect brands and people. For real.

Sector special

Driving empathic car brands

Our 2023 EVI Report revealed that automotive brands are strongly lacking Brand Empathy. Fueled by this insight, we started cross-referencing our different research tools in search of overlooked empathy-increasing opportunities. We discovered an untapped potential for automotive brands to increase the perceived emotional and actionable aspects of their brand’s empathy, especially amongst parents. 

Discover the automotive insights

Sector special

Drive brand empathy with conscious e-commerce

Our EVI report shows women rank e-commerce brands low on all brand empathy drivers related to societal impact. Our study reveals that GenZ women specifically want to be enabled by e-commerce brands to shop more sustainably. We discovered an opportunity to increase brand empathy for e-commerce brands by leveraging the above-average tech-confidence of Dutch GenZ women. 

Take a look at our EVI E-commerce report to find out more