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Consumers Would Partner with Brands for Social Change, Environment


I'll always have Tara.

85 percent of consumers worldwide are willing to change the brands they buy or their consumption habits to make tomorrow a better place.

And over half (55 percent) would help a brand "promote" a product if a good cause were behind it, according to a nine-country survey of consumers, reports sister site MarketingCharts.

Also, 88 percent of consumers said it is their duty to contribute to a better society and environment. Among all respondents, "helping others and contributing to the community" was cited as the second-most important source of personal contentment, after "spending time with family and friends."

The study was released by Edelman in concert with its launch of goodpurpose, a consultancy dedicated to helping brands explore putting social action closer to the center of their brand proposition.

"We see a new phenomenon emerging called 'Mutual Social Responsibility,' where consumers and the brands they interact with every day take a mutual interest in and a mutual responsibility for being good citizens," said Mitch Markson, president of Edelman's Global Consumer Brands practice and founder of goodpurpose.

"Worldwide, only 39 percent of consumers are aware of any brands that actively support good causes through their products or services.

With 56 percent of consumers more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause than one that does not, it's clear that if brands align themselves with a good purpose that consumers care about, they will strike a meaningful chord," Markson added.

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The following are among the highlights of the findings:

Consumers care about social action

  • In eight of nine countries surveyed, more than 50 percent (and up to 70 percent) of consumers say they are more involved in social causes than they were two years ago.
  • 56 percent of consumers are involved in supporting a good cause. On average, consumers are involved, either directly or through a member of their families, in more than two social or environmental causes.

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  • Areas of greatest concern among consumers include "protecting the environment" (92 percent); "enabling everyone to live a healthy life" (90 percent); "reducing poverty" (89 percent); "equal opportunity to education" (89 percent); "fighting HIV/AIDS" (83 percent); "building understanding/respect for other cultures" (82 percent); "helping to raise people's self-esteem" (77 percent); and "supporting the creative arts" (69 percent).

Word of mouth is the most credible source of information about brands that support good causes.

61 percent of consumers say "a person like myself" is the most credible source of seeking information about brands that support a good cause.

Consumers are ready to engage with brands in "Mutual Social Responsibility"

  • 70 percent of consumers say they would be prepared to pay more for a brand that supports a good cause they believe in
  • More than seven in 10 (73 percent) would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products.

MarketingCharts provides more findings.

About the study: For the goodpurpose Consumer Study, StrategyOne conducted 5,609 interviews across nine countries September - October 2007.

The study was an online survey of consumers, nationally representative of each of the country populations. For India and China, the survey was conducted as face to face and CATI, respectively.

Sample sizes per country: US = 1,004, China = 1,000, UK = 582, Germany = 510, Brazil =505, Italy = 501, Japan = 503, India = 500, Canada = 505.

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