College Students Prefer Socially Conscious/Eco-Friendly Brands, says New Study

According to a  Alloy Media + Marketing's 8th annual College Explorer study, not only will a record-level of 13.6 million incoming college students (age 18-30) account for a record $237 billion in spending this year  (up 20% rom ‘07) but they are more socially conscious and eco-friendy than ever before. T

Their altruistic concerns also extend themselves to brands: 41% of respondents prefer socially responsible brands that contribute positively to the environment  compared with the 37% polled last year.

Following are some interesting findings regarding brand preferences:

  • 69% of students cited “donating money to a cause or charity”;

  • An equal proportion cited “using eco-friendly or ‘green’ business practices”;

  • 68% cited “fair labor practices” (down slightly from top ranking last year); and

  • Almost half (49%) give brands a hint on what might sway them to support a brand: social messages incorporated into advertising

Students also appear to be increasingly aware of the positive effect of their own actions. The study finds a record number of students recycling—71% report doing so in the past six months, up  54% since 2006. Students have also become more philanthropic minded, with 40% stating they have donated to a cause they believe in within the past six months.

Also their top choices for “Top Socially Responsible” Brands were, according to category:

Food/beverage: Yoplait
Automotive: Toyota
Personal care: Burt’s Bees
Retail: Target
Shoes & apparel: Nike

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