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From a consumer perspective, there is a well-researched trend for consumers to yield their purchasing power based on how they perceive a company’s social reputation.

Originally developed by AC Nielsen, research conducted in the Asia-Pacific region indicates that consumer purchasing behaviour can swing as high as 50% to supporting brands that have a robust social reputation. From an employee perspective, similar research demonstrates that attracting and retaining good people is often influenced by a company’s social reputation.

Are you engaging with the millions of "consumers who care"?

Millions of consumers are part of a growing global trend that is seeing consumers taking an increasing interest in how companies are behaving socially, environmentally and culturally. These consumers who care form an attractive and challenging marketing proposition as they are bound together by a common behaviour — they will actively support companies that are making a positive difference in society.

These consumers see it as part of a company's responsibility to support social causes, particularly those that benefit the poorest and most underprivileged communities. The returns for companies that respond to consumer interest in a business’s social stand include:

  • consumers think more highly of these companies
  • consumers feel more loyal to these companies
  • consumers buy products and services from these companies
  • consumers will pay more for a company’s products and services

Consumer behaviour is influenced by a company’s social stand

  • 53% of people think more highly of companies that have a strong social stand and/or support charitable causes
  • 38% of people feel more loyal to such companies
  • 43% of people – and 49% of main household shoppers – have bought a product or service from a company because of its charitable support
  • 46% of those who bought a car in the last year have done so from a company that has supported a charity or worthy cause — they are 8% more likely to do this than the average person
  • 61% of heavy readers of daily newspapers think more highly of companies that support charities — they are 7% more likely to feel this way than the average person

Negative corporate behaviour influences consumer preferences

  • 30% of people in the Asia-Pacific study have intentionally avoided buying a product or service from a specific company because of concerns about its impact on society or the environment
  • Nearly one-half of American consumers say their negative perception of a company has led them to consider punishing that company by not purchasing its products or services, or by speaking up against the organization

Communicating your social stand to consumers

  • Nearly 40% of people would like companies to tell them more about how they are making a positive difference to society or the environment so they can support them

Vote or Veto

Consumers’ expectations have changed. They want to know whom companies are dealing with and what they stand for socially. Simply put, consumers will vote for, or veto, brands based on their perceptions.

Additional consumer research from the Philippines backs this up…

  • 40% are aware of private corporations with projects supporting the country's development
  • 56% say private corporations should give substantial donations to the poor or communities in need
  • 44% of adults consider a company's social programs very important in deciding whether to buy its products — compared to an average of 25% of consumers in 12 major European countries (Spain has a high of 47% consumer interest, Sweden has a low of 4%)

Companies are responding to this consumer pressure and telling their stories of how they are making a difference. And their consumers are rewarding genuine commitments to doing good. The greater the impact of one’s social investments, the more likely the savvy consumer will advocate in support of that company’s products and services.



  • “Panorama” (Jan-Dec 2006) and “Good as Gold” Report (July-Dec 2004), Nielsen Media Research, and Nick Jones & Associates Ltd
  • “SWS First Quarter 2003 Survey Module on Corporate Social Responsibility Commissioned by the Philippine Business for Social Progress”, Social Weather Stations (July 2003)
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing Well By Doing Good”, Mahar Mangahas, Social Weather Stations (September 2006)

53% of people think more highly of companies that have a strong social stand and/or support charitable causes
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