Social commitment pays off

A current study by the GoodBrand & Co. consulting firm demonstrated that social commitment by companies will be rewarded by consumers. According to the study, when making their buying decisions German consumers attach increasing importance to whether the selling company is committed to social and environmental issues (Corporate Social Responsibility). Also important are ethical marketing programmes.

“What the study shows is that new values are being established which so far could only be perceived in Anglo-Saxon countries: In times of globalization and dismantling of the wellfare state consumers expect companies to show increased commitment to the public weal”, explains Mr. Martin Blumberg of GoodBrand & Co. the results of the study. Fifty percent of consumers is nowadays interested in knowing under which social and environmental conditions companies work. More than half of all consumers say that their buying behaviour is influenced by negative corporate headlines and two thirds of people questioned said that they appreciate companies committing themselves to improved working conditions.

Also highly appreciated by consumers are so-called ethical marketing programmes (Cause Related Marketing) which means that part of a product´s price will be allocated to donation programmes. More than two thirds of those surveyed wellcome this kind of social commitment by companies. “Our study shows that ethical marketing programmes boost the popularity of a company among consumers thereby increasing their trust in a particular brand name. Companies using this tool in a strategically intelligent way will therefore be able to increase their goodwill value”, is the summary of the findings by Mr. Christian Conrad, partner of GoodBrand & Co. and former marketing director with Kellogg’s.

The study analyzed and evaluated the cause related marketing by Volvic, Krombacher, Blend a med, Charmin, Kellogg’s, Bitburger, Ritter Sport, Lidl and Whiskas. “The study is to provide guidance to companies on how they can engange in cause related marketing successfully – to their own as well as to society´s benefit”, continues Blumberg. The study can be ordered from GoodBrand & Co. Germany from mid-October 2006. GERMAN