Young consumers favour CSR, local focus

10 February 2010

LONDON: Young consumers believe companies should emphasise social responsibility and attempt to connect with their customers at the local level, according to a new study covering 38 markets around the world.

YouGovStone, the research firm, and SurveyShack interviewed 15,844 people aged between 23 and 28 years old, and found that 64% were of the opinion that "global corporations have too much power."

Some 81% of participants also argued these organisations "must behave in an ethical way," while a majority asserted that businesses should utilise their capacity to "connect with people on a local level."

Moreover, it was suggested that this demographic is beginning to "sift out" brands based not only on their price and quality, but also on an emerging range of "ethical metrics".

With regard to the economy, 18% of this cohort "strongly agreed" that global economic activity needs to be scaled back, with 32% offering more qualified support for this notion.

By country, a minority of respondents in the US, Germany and Japan adopted this standpoint, compared with 52% of their counterparts in Brazil, 66% in China and India, and 73% in Russia.

This was despite the fact that economic conditions in the latter four nations have proved considerably more favourable than in more mature markets during the financial crisis.

Nearly two-thirds of the panel saw the media as playing an important function in "keeping a check on state and corporate activities", peaking at 82% in Brazil, 79% in India, and 77% in China.

Seven in ten contributors were in favour of the regulation of news media in order to ensure that it was "independent of state and corporate bias".

The report added that the "millennial generation" are used to sharing their opinions via social networks and other online services, giving them greater influence over their peers than ever before.

The YouGovStone–Survey Shack study was prepared for the One Young World summit, founded by David Jones and Kate Robertson, who are, respectively, global ceo and group chairman of EuroRSCG.

Data sourced from One Young World; additional content by Warc staff