More than 75 percent of consumers say that it is important for companies to be socially responsible according to a survey released today by Penn Schoen Berland, Landor Associates, and Burson-Marsteller. The Second Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Perceptions Survey tested consumer views of companies in 14 industries ranging from Apparel to Telecommunications.
Despite the recession, consumers continue to prioritize social responsibility across business sectors, and 55 percent are more likely to choose a product that supports a certain cause when choosing between otherwise similar products. Moreover, 38 percent of respondents still plan to spend the same or more for products and services from socially responsible companies, and 70 percent are willing to pay more for a $100 product from a company they regard as responsible.
However, companies are not communicating their CSR efforts with consumers as effectively as they could. Only 13 percent of consumers report having read about a company’s social responsibility agenda on its website. If companies are able to better communicate their CSR efforts, they may have the opportunity to influence consumer perceptions seeing as 75 percent of consumers who have read about a company’s social responsibility agenda on its website indicated that it made them more likely to purchase products or services from that company.
Some of the study’s other key findings include:
· Of 14 tested industries, Food, Consumer Goods and Retailers are perceived as performing best, while Financial Services, Healthcare and Media are perceived as performing worst.
· Consumers perceive General Mills to be the most responsible of 64 tested brands.
· Seventy-Two Percent say they will make some sacrifices in their spending or in their salary to support social responsibility.