October 17, 2011

Press Release

Burson-Marsteller Launches Caring Consumer Specialty Group

Evidence-Based Approach to Engaging Socially Minded Consumers

New York, NY, October 17, 2011 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, announced today the launch of its Caring Consumer specialty group, a sub-practice of Consumer and Brand Marketing. The sub-practice, comprised of experts in Consumer and Brand Marketing, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Reputation, builds emotional connections between organizations and consumers who care. The Caring Consumer is designed to help companies translate their good deeds at the corporate level – from philanthropy to sustainability, ethics to community service – in relevant ways to consumers who show their appreciation by supporting “caring companies” over their competitors.

“Consumers are looking for a relationship that goes beyond the transaction of products and services. They have higher expectations of what brands should deliver to them and to their communities,“ said Carline Jorgensen, Managing Director, Burson-Marsteller, Consumer and Brand Marketing. “We help companies and non-profits further distinguish themselves and provide unique value to engage consumers who put their money where their hearts are.”

At the heart of the new Caring Consumer offering is The Consumer Care Package, a diagnostic tool and methodology that evaluates an organization’s current socially conscious activities, audits the competitive landscape, captures its aspirations, and defines a unique value proposition that resonates with its target audiences to create a stronger connection with its brand. Caring Consumer takes an evidence-based approach by using research to develop more informed programs, as well as illustrate return on investment of cause-based communications campaigns.

For example, a recent online survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in partnership with Burson-Marsteller, Landor and Forbes, measured perceptions of 100 consumer facing top brands. The survey of 2,500 U.S. adults revealed that consumers are more likely to purchase products and services from companies who do the following:

  1. Understand and address their customers’ unique needs
  2. Care about the issues that matter to their customers
  3. Are honest and trustworthy
  4. Positively impact the everyday lives of their customers

“Companies and organizations eager to connect with social- and civic-minded consumers must appeal to the specific needs and expectations of their target audiences, such as Caring Moms, Caring Boomers, Caring Teens and other discrete groups if they want to create impactful programming and earn the loyalty of caring consumers,” according to Jorgensen.

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and web-related strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 68 offices and 81 affiliate offices, together operating in 109 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. To learn more about Burson-Marsteller, please visit bm.com.