NEW YORK: Around 80% of consumers are more likely to buy brands that are associated with good causes, reports a study by communications agency Cone – with the caveat emptor that price and quality are the same as their existing brand of choice.

The 2008 Cone Cause Evolution Study – based on research among 1,100 consumers – also found that 85% of participants more favourably viewed those companies supporting causes they cared about.

Over 80% said consumers should be able to choose the cause brands associate with, and that it had to be an issue that was personally relevant to them.

By contrast, just 38% had bought a product tied to a good cause in the last year.

A total of 52% agreed companies should continue to donate to charities even in a downturn, with 25% suggesting companies needed to give more.

A separate study Cone conducted with Duke University showed that consumers were more likely to purchase a brand after reading cause-based print ads, and that consumers spend longer reading cause-related communications than other ads online.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff