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Survey Says – 67% Of Canadians Will Buy From A Business Who Supports Good Causes, Edelman goodpurpose Study 2010

Public relations agency Edelman has released the results from their annual Edelman goodpurpose Consumer Study, the fourth such annual survey. The survey shows consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to specific social issues and their expectations of brands and corporations.

Its Good To Give Back

  • 87% of Canadians expect business to consider societal interests at least equal to business interests
  • Most Canadians (66%) say they have a better opinion of corporations that integrate good cause into their business, regardless of the reasons why they do so – an eleven point jump from last year (55%).
  • 74 per cent of Canadian consumers think it is OK for brands to support good causes and make money at the same time – up 11 points from 63% in 2007.
  • 64 per cent of Canadians believe government and business need to work together more closely to ensure the environment is protected; 91% of Canadians say they personally care about protecting the environment

Results indicate that nearly half of Canadians (48%) feel that brands only support good causes for publicity and promotion, not because they really care – up 8 points since 2008 – 67 per cent of Canadians say they are more likely to buy products and services from a company if they know it has brands that support good causes – up 7 points from 60% in 2009.

“Cause related-marketing, as we know it, is dead. It is no longer enough to slap a ribbon on a product,” said Carol Cone, Managing Director, Brand & Corporate Citizenship, Edelman. “Canadians seek deeper involvement in social issues and expect brands and companies to provide various means of engagement. We call this the rise of the ‘citizen consumer’.”

Most Canadians (74%) believe that brands and consumers working together to support a good cause can do more for a good cause than either brands or consumers can do on their own, while 17 per cent believe that “people like me” should be doing the most to support good causes, up nine points from last year.

The Fifth P of Marketing

Over the last three years of the survey, Canadian consumers rank purpose as significantly more important than design/innovation or brand loyalty as a purchase trigger when quality and price are the same. According to the 2010 goodpurpose study, nearly half (46%) of Canadians cite social purpose as the number one deciding factor – up eight points from 2007 – while thirty-one per cent cite loyalty to the brand and 23 per cent cite design or innovation when quality and price are the same.

“Purpose is now the fifth P of marketing. It’s a vital addition to the age-old marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion,” said Mitch Markson, Chief Creative Officer, Edelman, and theFfounder of Edelman goodpurpose. “Purpose allows brands to have a deeper level of engagement with their consumers—and it also allows consumers to put their own mark on brand marketing by collaborating with brands to tackle important social issues.”

Despite lingering economic concerns, three out of four Canadians (75%) report that they are more likely to give their business to a company that has fair prices and supports a good cause than to a company that provides deep discounts but does not contribute to good causes. In fact, more than half of consumers say that they would switch brands if a brand of similar quality supported a good cause.

While a significant number of Canadian consumers are willing to purchase, recommend and promote companies that show a commitment to good causes, many are also willing to punish those that do not. More than one-third of Canadians would punish a company that doesn’t actively support a good cause by criticizing it to others (35%), refusing to buy its products/ services (35%), or sharing negative opinions and experiences (36%). Nearly one half (45%) would not invest in such a company.

Results from the 2090 Edelman goodpurpose survey.

Methodology for the Edelman goodpurpose Consumer Study

The survey was conducted by the StrategyOne (a division of Edelman) and consisted of 20-minute interviews in 13 countries among 7,259 adults, including 500 Canadians. Online interviews were conducted in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, UAE, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in China and India. The study is representative of the country population, except in UAE. UAE is representative of the online population.

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