Corporate Social Responsibility Core To Brand Management

Cause marketers can back their strategies with sound market research and a powerful return on investment. need research to support your daily work.  Here are some statistics from 2008 to 2013 that shed new light on doing well by doing good.

Cause sponsorship is predicted to reach $1.78 billion in 2013, a projected increase of 4.8 percent over 2012. Causes motivate 91 percent of global consumers to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. Half of global consumers said they would reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services (44 percent in the U.S. and 38 percent in Canada). Consumers want more clarity because 70 percent of consumers are confused by the messages companies use to talk about their CSR initiatives.

Purpose caused 47 percent of consumers to buy a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47 percent increase from 2010. Over the years, consumers have taken increased action on behalf of brands with Purpose:

  • 39 percent increase in “would recommend” cause-related brands;
  • 34 percent increase in “would promote” cause-related brands; and
  • 9 percent increase in “would switch” brands if a similar brand supported a good cause.

While 87 percent of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests, less than a third believe business is performing well in addressing societal issues. Although it’s difficult to quantify cause marketing spending, IEG’s numbers put corporate cause sponsorship at $1.68 billion in 2011, predicted to grow to $1.73 billion in 2012. Ninety-three percent of consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place and 91 percent also want to be heard by companies. Unfortunately, 71 percent report being confused by the message companies use to talk about their efforts and impacts.

Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as volunteering their time (31 percent versus 26 percent), cause-support purchasing (37 percent versus 30 percent), encouraging others to support a cause (30 percent versus 22 percent), and participating in fundraising events (27 percent versus 16 percent). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support, such as Tom’s Shoes One for One Campaign.

Consumer Expect Marketing with Purpose. Eighty-six percent of consumers around the world believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on societal interests as on business interests. Two-thirds of brands now engage in cause marketing (up from 58 percent in 2009) and 97 percent of marketing executives believe it is a valid business strategy.

About 90 percent of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) don’t think companies are giving them enough details about their efforts, including the amounts donated and the length of the promotions.

One-third of Hispanic and African American consumers report that they almost always choose brands that support causes they believe in, compared to just one in five Non-Hispanic Whites. Consumers Punish Companies with Bad Reputations as 72 percent of US consumers say they have avoided purchasing products from companies whose practices they disagree with.

Globally 66 percent of people believe it’s no longer enough for corporations to merely give money away, but that they must integrate good causes into their day-to-day business.

Companies Can Make a Difference and 60 percent of US consumers say businesses are in the best position to impact social issues, as opposed to government (14 percent). About two-thirds of Chief Marketing Officers say they plan to maintain their level of cause commitment in spite of the recession.

Cause Marketing Increases Sales. Behavioral research demonstrated a 28 to 78 percent increase in actual purchase within the toothpaste and shampoo categories.

Cause Increasingly Creates Differentiation. About 79 percent of Americans say they would be likely to switch from one brand to another, when price and quality are about equal, if the other brand is associated with a good cause (compared to 66 percent in 1993).

People Are Cause-Conscious in Many Aspects of Life since 89 percent of Americans state it is very/somewhat important to know about the values of companies they come in contact with – whether through buying products, working for them or living in a community in which they operate.

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