Brands that make good on doing good succeed

Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:16am EST
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Doing good really does pay, with a global survey finding more than six in 10 people would buy, and recommend, a brand that gave back to society or helped the environment, even if it wasn't the cheapest.

Sixty-four percent of respondents to the "Good Purpose" poll of just over 6,000 consumers, by public relations firm Edelman, also said they expected brands today to support good causes.

More than two-thirds said they would switch brands if another, similar-quality product supported a good cause.

"People all over the world are now wearing, driving, eating, and living their social purpose as sustained engagement with good causes becomes a new criterion for social status," Mitch Markson, Edelman's chief creative officer, said in a statement.

"This gives companies and brands associated with a worthy cause an opportunity to build long-term relationships with consumers that, in turn, allow them to feel valuable."

The survey also revealed that, during the global economic downturn, more than half of the respondents said a company or brand had earned their business because of its do-good credentials.

And while the recession had reduced the amount of money people gave toward good causes, it made them spend more of their time on volunteer work or in socially responsible programs, the survey showed.

The desire to help out also extended to the environment, with the poll finding 83 percent said they were willing to change their consumption habits to make the world a better place in which to live, including moving to an eco-friendly house (70 percent) and buying a hybrid car (67 percent).

The survey was conducted among 6,026 consumers aged 18-64 earlier this year across 10 countries: the United States, China, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Japan and India.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; editing by Paul Tait)