How important is it to you that a company your purchase from is socially responsible? Important enough for you to pay a little extra for the product or service? Would you refrain from purchasing from a brand that supports a cause you are opposed to?

Marketing research data collection company Focus Pointe Global (FPG), in collaboration with customer experience management company Market Force Information, recently posed these questions and more to members of the FPG QualPanel® on the subject of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Corporate Social Responsibility is a term used to describe a company's efforts to improve society in some way. These efforts can range from donating money to charitable causes to implementing environmentally-friendly policies in the workplace. CSR is about how companies manage their business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.

We live in a world where social responsibility is an important deciding factor in where consumers spend their money. Understanding the impact they have on the world around them has never been more important for corporations and their customers. According to the study, CSR benefits employees, businesses, nonprofits, and society alike. 

For employees, having a sense of pride in the company they work for produces more engaged workers who are more likely to exhibit cooperative behaviors toward coworkers and be more committed to the company.

For businesses, incorporating CSR into their business strategy builds brand recognition and customer loyalty, achieves cost savings through reducing waste and resources, attracts positive media attention, helps to find and keep top talent, and improves employee satisfaction and morale, to name a few.

For non-profits, CSR initiatives provide much-needed support that extends beyond individual donors.

For society, CSR gives back and helps to find solutions to everyday issues - locally, nationally, and globally.

So how did our respondents weigh in on the subject of CSR and the influence it has on their purchasing habits? Below are the key takeaways:

Does promoting corporate responsibility matter?
Yes!  Even though price, quality, and convenience are the top influencers of purchase decisions, over 3 in 4 consumers claim they’re more likely to purchase from brands that are socially responsible. And nearly half claim they would refrain from purchasing brands that support or are opposed to specific causes.  Implementing corporate responsibility initiatives can give a competitive advantage to brands that highly compete on price, quality, and convenience.

For which consumers does corporate responsibility matter the most?
Overall, women tend to place more importance on corporate responsibility compared to men (x% vs. y%).  In addition to willingness to pay a little more for products offered by brands who support these issues, women also tend to refrain from purchasing from brands that support issues women oppose.  And refraining also increases as age increases.

What types of corporate responsibility matter most to consumers?
Women tend to support societal and environmental issues.  And social causes tend to become more important as age increases, while workplace green processes tend to decrease with age.  The Late Gen Z / Millennial generation tend to put slightly more importance on environmental issues.  Brands that deeply understand their consumers have the advantage to identify corporate responsibility initiatives to attract new customers and strengthen loyalty.

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Laura Livers is Chief Executive Officer of Focus Pointe Global, which provides high-quality marketing research data collection services by leveraging new techniques and technologies to make market insights more accessible, accurate, and affordable. Under Laura’s leadership, FPG has expanded its service offerings by incorporating accepted methodologies with emerging digital solutions.

Laura has 33 years of experience partnering with Fortune 500 companies in the marketing research arena. Prior to joining FPG in 2009, Laura was president of mystery shopping firm Shop ‘n Chek Worldwide.

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