Cause marketing 'proving popular in US'

22 September 2010

BOSTON: Advertisers promoting social or environmental causes are becoming increasingly popular among US consumers, Cone LLC has suggested.

According to new research from the agency, 80% of customers would switch from a brand that does not support a cause to one that does, provided the two products are of similar quality and are sold at a similar price.

As a general strategy, cause branding finds strong support among Americans, with 88% agreeing that the practice is "acceptable".

This represents a marked shift in consumer views - when the same question was asked in 1993, just 55% agreed.

The popularity of cause-based marketing is also likely to increase in future, with 94% of younger consumers and 95% of mothers saying its use is acceptable.

Elsewhere in the report, 85% of respondents say that they have a more positive view of a brand if it supports a cause they care about, while 90% would like firms to keep them informed about the causes it supports.

"The fervor with which moms and Millennials, among many other consumers, are embracing cause branding signals a field ripe for continued innovation and growth," Cone stated in its report.

"Companies' and consumers' commitment to doing good withstood turbulent times, proving social and environmental responsibility is not a fair-weather friend, but a business strategy that can stand the test of time."

The report also suggests that cause-based marketing for brands in some sectors is especially popular.

Around 82% of Americans think it is important for food and beverage brands to support social or environmental causes.

But just 76% want professional services providers - such as accountants or law firms - to do the same.

Data sourced from Cone LLC; additional content by Warc staff