Study: Consumers Embrace Merchants With a Social Purpose

When it comes to buying brands and making a purchase from a merchant, doing good counts. U.S. consumers are spending with companies and brands which have a social purpose, according to the findings of a study conducted by the public relations firm Edelman.

The Goodpurpose Consumer Study found that 56% of consumers have purchased a brand that supports a good cause – even if it wasn’t the cheapest brand – while 56% believe a company or brand has earned their business because it has been doing its part to support good causes.

Why are consumers willing to get behind brands and shops with a cause marketing plan? It could have to do with the recession, as 74% of consumers say their ability to give money to community causes has been limited.

The study shows that 51% have given less financial support due to the current economic downturn, and 57% have tried to do more to support good causes in the past year because charities and other nonprofit organizations have suffered in this economic environment.

Also, 63% of the 1,005 U.S. respondents said they would recommend a brand that supports a good cause, up from 47% in 2008, and 63% said they would switch brands if another brand of similar quality supported a good cause.

What’s more, 38% said they are aware of brands that actively support good causes through their products and services, up from 23% last year.

The study also showed that 70% of consumers think brands and companies should spend less on advertising and marketing and more on good causes. That’s up 13% from 2008.

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