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Good CSR increases sales, says latest research

28th January 2013


A company that shows that it supports a good cause is likely to benefit from increased sales and more loyal customers around the world. According to recent research from PR firm Edelman, the goodpurpose study, over three-quarters (76 per cent) of consumers would buy and recommend products from a company that supports a good cause, and 44 per cent would refuse to buy from a company that does not. It is of great value to a business’s reputation to work for the good of society, as 44 per cent of consumers would criticise a firm to other people if it fails to actively support a good cause.

How likely would you be to do the following in relation to: a company that actively supports a good cause? A company that does NOT actively support a good cause?

Source: The goodpurpose study, Edelman

Worldwide, consumers are also happy to pay extra for products and services from companies that show their commitment to good causes. In China, 80 per cent of consumers claim they are happy to pay extra, but in the UK, just 28 per cent say they would pay a premium.

How likely would you be to pay a premium for products/services in relation to a company that actively supports a good cause?

Source: The goodpurpose study, Edelman

In terms of how active consumers are themselves in supporting causes, consumers in the America are less involved in societal issues than their peers throughout the world. With 82 percent of US consumers affected by the economic downturn, the percentage of consumers helping a cause dropped from 60 per cent to 53 per cent between 2010 and 2012, the only decline among the 16 countries surveyed. Yet, for the first time ever, the US was the only country to believe the responsibility of tackling society’s issues falls most heavily on the shoulders of “people like me” (35 per cent) and not government (22 per cent).

The tension of this paradox spells significant opportunity for marketers and PROs. “While US consumers currently have less time and money to put towards societal issues, they still feel they’re most responsible to help,” says Carol Cone, global practice chair, business and social purpose, Edelma, “Brands and corporations can ease the burden for consumers by making involvement in social issues easier and more aligned with the core needs they face today – jobs, hunger, education and healthcare.”

Describing how important it is for businesses to show their commitment to good causes around the world, Cone says: “When quality and price of a product are deemed equal, social purpose has consistently been the leading purchase trigger for global consumers since 2008, muscling design and innovation and brand loyalty aside. Over those years, the relevance of ‘purpose’ as a purchase factor has risen 26 per cent globally. Growth has been even more prominent over the last 18 months in markets such as Japan (up 100 per cent), China (up 79 per cent), Netherlands (up 43 per cent), India (up 43 per cent), and Germany (up 36 per cent).

“Brands aligning themselves with causes are not only securing more consumer consideration, but are also earning their money and support. Nearly half (47 per cent) of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47 per cent increase from 2010.“ Cone concludes that it is a growing trend for consumers to take increased action on behalf of brands that demonstrate their commitment to improving society.

Methodology
 

The goodpurpose study is Edelman’s annual global research that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to specific societal issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The survey was conducted in 16 countries among 8,000 adults, and is the only global, longitudinal study of its kind.



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