CEO Weekly INsights
Current Thoughts on CSR
When a Business Contributes to the Well-being of a Community, Evidence Shows It Creates More Customers and More Loyalty for Them
November 2, 2017
CSR creates a bigger marketplace for growth. It increases profits. And it provides more opportunity for business success for those involved. Powerful research supports these insights.
“If I was talking to a CEO, I would tell him or her that there is a new generation who evaluates if they will be a customer depending on what that company or brand stands for. Those companies that embrace giving back are going to do better than those who don’t.”
So says Marc Brownstein, President and CEO of the Brownstein Group, the longest-running independent brand communication agency in Philadelphia.
Marc’s insights are supported by research that shows more consumers are basing their buying decisions on CSR.
A 2013 study from Cone Communications and Echo Research revealed 90% of people and businesses worldwide are likely to switch to brands that support a good cause, given similar price and quality.
Additionally, more than 90% are more likely to trust and be loyal to socially responsible businesses compared to companies that don’t show these traits.
The research found that businesses that are socially responsible have an advantage of retaining and possibly growing their customer base.
“It’s no longer a question if companies should engage in CSR,” said Alison DaSilva, Executive Vice President for Research and Insights at Cone Communications in an article by Fox Business. “It’s now a question of to what extent will they do so, and how will they create and communicate real and meaningful impact.”
The Fox Business report pointed out that 90% of the respondents “would boycott companies if they found the firms engaged in irresponsible business practices, with 55% having already done so the past year.”
People feel personally accountable for making responsible purchasing decisions
According to the study, 85% say they play a role in addressing social issues through their purchases. More than 20% proactively seek out purchasing from companies they feel are responsible. Furthermore, they encourage others to do the same.
People are relying on social media for learning more about a company’s social initiatives
The research found that people around the world are using social media as a CSR megaphone to propagate the good and bad. Nearly 66% say they use social media to address or engage with companies around CSR. While most people share positive information with their networks, more than 25% say they communicate negative news.