December 03, 2008
Consumers Remain Loyal to Brands that Champion Social Purpose
by Robert Kropp
Study finds that even during a financial crisis, consumers are willing to pay more for brands that
support social causes they believe in.
A survey of 6,000 consumers in ten countries has found that the global financial crisis has not
lessened their loyalty to brands that champion good causes. In fact, 68% of consumers stated they
would remain loyal to a brand during a recession if it supports a good cause, and 55% said they
would be prepared to pay more for a brand in a recession that supports a good cause they believe
also found that 87% of consumers feel it is their duty to contribute to a better society and the
environment, and 83% are willing to change consumption habits in order to do so. 82% of consumers
say they can personally make a difference by supporting good causes.
The survey found
that of the causes that consumers personally care about, the highest-ranked were protecting the
environment, improving the quality of health and healthcare, reducing poverty, and equal
opportunity to education.
According to Mitch Edelman, president of consumer brands at
Edelman and founder of goodpurpose, "Putting meaning in marketing is more important than ever.
These findings present brands with an opportunity to engage in 'mutual social
responsibility'óbrands and consumers working together to effect positive social change for mutual
Edelman continued, "When a brand acts as a 'citizen brand,' contributing to
community and society beyond its functional benefits, doing good can translate to doing well."
According to goodpurpose, among the popular social-purpose brand programs that are helping to
change public perception are Brita, whose "Filter for Good" campaign asks consumers to take a
pledge to reduce their plastic bottle waste, and the American Express Members Project, which
invites members to realize their own social purpose vision and funds a selection of member-driven