Does corporate responsibility influence buying decisions?

WASHINGTON — People prioritize environmental and human-focused causes over price, according to a new survey from Clutch, a business-to-business ratings and reviews firm.

Most people say a company’s commitment to environmentally-friendly business practices (71%), social responsibility (68%), and giving back to the local community (68%) are among the most important attributes of a company, Clutch discovered.

Less than half of people (44%) say price is among the most important attributes of a company.

“It depends on the company and the product, but I believe a lot of people are willing to pay a little bit more,” said Josh Weiss, CEO of 10 to 1 Public Relations, a public relations firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.

People are more aware of the impact their buying decisions have on the environment and global community and seek companies with similar beliefs, he suggested.

People expect businesses to speak out about social movements

Seventy-one percent of people think it’s important for businesses to take a stance on social movements, the release noted, adding that this expectation presents challenges for businesses in determining:

  • Which issues are relevant to their brand
  • How to speak out about social issues
  • When to speak out about social issues

“Your corporate purpose is your North Star in determining whether to respond to certain movements,” said Steve Cody, CEO of Peppercomm Public Relations.

People choose to shop at companies that share their beliefs, he added.

Three-fourths of people (75%) are likely to start shopping at a company that supports an issue they agree with, while only 59% of people are likely to stop shopping at a company that supports an issue they disagree with, Clutch reported.

“Whatever people purchase is an extension of their being and personality,” said Ketan Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of Mettl, an HR technology company. “When they are seeking products, they are not only looking at the direct benefits of the product, but also how it affirms their own beliefs and values.”

People’s expectations of businesses are evolving

Younger generations consider a company’s values more than older generations before making a purchase.

Seventy percent (70%) of Generation Xers (ages 35-54) and 54% of millennials (ages 18-34) are likely to stop shopping at a company that supports an issue they disagree with compared to 37% of baby boomers (ages 55+).

Businesses will have to adapt to these evolving standards as younger generations gain more purchasing power, said Jack Butcher, creative director at Opponent.

“We’re only a decade or so away from sustainability being the only option for conducting business at scale,” said he explained. “These changes will force businesses to adapt or die.”

Clutch’s 2019 PR and Corporate Social Responsibility Survey included 420 U.S. consumers who made a purchase within the last five months.

The full report is available at clutch.co.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

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