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social responsibility

Sustainable Selections: How Socially Responsible Companies are Turning a Profit

A recent Nielsen global survey, “The Sustainability Imperative-New Insights on Consumer Expectations,” found that consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for socially responsible products.  This survey found that 66% of respondents are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that have demonstrated their commitment to positive social and environmental impact.  This percentage has increased from 55% in 2014 and 50% in 2013, according to Nielsen’s newswire about this survey.

According to this report, there are key sustainability purchasing drivers for global respondents.  Survey respondents were “very heavily” or “heavily” influenced by the following factors:

62% The products are made by a brand/company that I trust.

59% The product is known for its health and wellness benefits.

57% The product is made from fresh, natural and/or organic ingredients.

45% The product is from a company known for being environmentally friendly.

43% The product is from a company known for its commitment to social value.

 According to Carol Gstalder, Senior Vice President, Reputation and Public Relations Solutions at Nielsen, “Brand trust and reputation are paramount.” She also stated, “An excellent reputation makes it far more likely a company will be welcomed into new communities; partner with the most respected non-profits working on issues consumers care about most; and be a go-to source for products and services. And what we know for sure is that sustainability is playing an increasingly significant role in consumer decision making.”

The report also discusses the sustainability tactics used by brands in a variety of product categories.  Nielsen’s newswire provides a link to the “Global Corporate Sustainability Report.”

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Global Consumers Agree That Brands Must Be Environmentally Responsible

The MarketingCharts Staff presents a summary of the GfK survey of consumers in 23 countries who were questioned about their attitudes on environmental responsibility.

In the U.S. 66% of consumers agree that brands and companies have to be environmentally responsible.  On a worldwide basis, 76% of consumers agree with this statement.

In terms of purchasing behavior, 54% of American consumers agree that they only buy products and services that appeal to their beliefs, values or ideals.  63% of global respondents also agree with this statement.

Despite skepticism about the environmental messages presented by brands, consumers have shown a willingness to pay a premium for products from socially responsible companies. GfK notes in their survey results, “with so much competition for consumers’ money, everything that brands can do to align with their customers will help them stand out and win loyalty.”

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