Consumers back CSR schemes

13 September 2011

AMSTERDAM: A majority of consumers believe brands should be involved in corporate social responsibility activities, a new multimarket study has revealed.

Let's Heal, the insights provider, and Winkle Research, the survey firm, polled 24,224 people in 16 nations like Brazil, China, Germany, India, the UK and US.

Overall, 76% of the panel agreed companies and brands should support good causes, a perception peaking at 94% in Brazil, 93% in Russia, 91% in Mexico and 88% in China.

Figures on this metric fell to 51% among interviewees from the Netherlands, measured against 61% for their Japanese counterparts, 64% for Belgium and 65% for France.

By contrast, only 11% of the sample disapproved of firms backing "prosocial" initiatives and organisations in this way, dropping to 6% in Russia and the US.

Scores also varied by location, as 79% of participants living in cities advocated links between private sector players and good causes, falling to 67% in rural areas.

Turning to marketing, 61% of contributors thought it was legitimate to highlight these types of schemes in communications, again attaining a high of 78% in India, 75% in Brazil and 73% in China.

Respondents from the Netherlands were, as previously, the least enthusiastic, posting 36%, a total hitting 40% across Japan and 45% in Belgium.

When asked if it "made sense" to buy products boasting impressive CSR credential versus competing lines, 64% of the sample supported this statement, ranging from 85% in Mexico and 80% in Brazil to 35% in the Netherlands.

A further 64% of shoppers favoured brands that surpassed CSR expectations, and as 66% would like to do more for others but lacked the time, energy, resources or inspiration, companies can fill this gap.

Elsewhere, 72% of the "social media savvy" consumers found to be most engaged with sites such as Twitter and Facebook preferred to purchase responsible brands, as did 61% of people making less use of this channel.

However, as just 13% of the individuals questioned fitted the profile of being deeply involved with social media, this cannot be the sole means of promoting CSR programmes, the study added.

Data sourced from Let's Heal; additional content by Warc staff