| Ford Church

Americans Want More from Business & Seek it Online

More than two-thirds of Americans say they consider a company’s business practices when deciding what to buy.

Increasingly, Americans, both as customers and as employees, are seeking more from business, according to the 2007 Cone Cause Evolution Survey.
They want companies to be socially and environmentally responsible, and
this desire is increasingly affecting their purchasing decisions and
expectations of their employers.

More than two-thirds of
Americans say they consider a company’s business practices when
deciding what to buy. And Cone believes that long-term support of
social issues has become a major brand differentiator – something SRB
Marketing as seen with our mostly small and mid-size clients for years
now. That brand differentiator is a big reason many of our clients and
their colleagues have been snapped up by Fortune 1000 companies (e.g.,
Ben & Jerry’s, Cascadian Farms, Stonyfield Farm).

expectations of companies are at an all time high: 83 percent say
companies have a responsibility to help support causes, and 92 percent
acknowledge they have a more positive image of a company that supports
a cause they care about.

In many areas, Americans are more
likely than ever before to reward companies for their support of social
issues. Eighty-seven percent are likely to switch from one brand to
another (price and quality being about equal) if the other brand is
associated with a good cause – an increase of more than 31 percent
(from 66%) since 1993.

American employees’ expectations of
companies have also increased, and quite dramatically: 72 percent wish
their employers would do more to support a cause or social issue. This
has climbed 38 percent (vs. 52%) since Cone’s last survey in 2004.

and the Internet are the two main ways Americans prefer companies to
communicate their social and environmental issues and practices (45%
and 41% respectively). Americans are also using technology proactively
to learn about and support social and environmental issues and causes.
More than one third are searching for information on issues (37%) or
are forwarding important messages to family and friends (38%).

have always relied on word of mouth recommendations to influence their
decision making, and the increase in prominence of viral communications
has made this form of idea exchange even easier," explains Julia Hobbs
Kivistik, executive vice president of Cause Branding, Cone, LLC. "When
a company communicates its cause activities in relevant, emotionally
compelling ways and highlights the related social impacts, consumers
will pass along the message to those around them."

Source: Conscious Clicks, SRB Marketing, Inc., Sustainable Travel International

Categories: Cottonwood Institute News

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