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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 in.

The 2nd annual goodpurpose study was conducted by the goodpurpose consultancy of Edelman, a global public relations firm.

The survey 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 benefit."

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 projects.


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