The Citizen Consumer
The second annual goodpurpose study (winter 2008) published by Edelman, one of the world’s largest PR firms, profiles today’s consumer as a proactive user and collaborator (no surprise here – just look around) and an advocate for social causes. The report tells us that people’s commitment to helping others — and to brands that share the same commitment — is strong.
Edelman surveyed 6,000 consumers across 10 countries, here are the highlights:
- 42% of consumers say “helping others and contributing to my community” brings them the strongest feelings of contentment, but only 25% of people gain contentment from the shopping experience.
- Three-quarters (76%) say they like to buy brands that make a donation to worthy causes.
- 63% of consumers say brands spend too much money on advertising or marketing and should put more into a good cause.
- 80% of consumers feel that during a recession, it is still important for brands and companies to set aside money for social purpose.
- Nearly seven in 10 (68%) consumers around the world say that during a recession they would remain loyal to a brand if it supports a good cause.
- 71% say that when they think about the economic downturn, they have either given the same or more time and money to good causes.
- Nearly 9 in 10 consumers (87%) feel it is their duty to contribute to a better society and the environment.
- 82% of consumers globally say they can personally make a difference by supporting good causes, and 83% of consumers are willing to change their own consumption habits to help make tomorrow’s world a better place.
- Environment remains the No.1 social cause consumers care about, followed closely by health, poverty and education.
- Consumers say that if two products are of the same quality and price, commitment to a social purpose (42%) trumps factors like design/innovation (30%) and brand loyalty (27%) when choosing one brand over the other.
- Half (52%) of consumers globally are more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that does not, and 54% would help a brand promote a product if there was a good cause behind it.
What is causing this phenomenon that merges consumerism and citizenship?