Consumers Set Bar High for Companies, Even During Poor Economic Climate

The recently released 2008 Cone Cause Evolution Study reveals that consumers continue to have high philanthropic expectations for companies struggling amid the current economic crisis.  More than half (52%) of Americans feel companies should maintain their level of financial support of causes and nonprofit organizations.  Another quarter (26%) expects companies to give even more. 

     Fortunately for marketers, consumers are also more receptive to cause messages than ever before. They will reward companies that give back both with their goodwill and their wallets. According to the study’s findings:

•    85% of Americans say they have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about (remains unchanged from 1993);
•    85% feel it is acceptable for companies to involve a cause in their marketing (compared to 66% in 1993);
•    79% say they would be likely to switch from one brand to another, when price and quality are about equal, if the other brand is associated with a good cause (compared to 66% in 1993); and
•    38% have bought a product associated with a cause in the last 12 months (compared to 20% in 1993)

When asked what issues they want companies to address in their cause programs, the answers were as follows:

•     Education (80%);
•     Economic development (80%);
•     Health and disease (79%);
•    Access to clean water (79%);
•    Environment  (77%);
•     Disaster relief  (77%); and
•     Hunger (77%). 
Source: Cone, Inc.

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