Consumers are choosing to purchase brands based on their companies' social responsibility over giving to charity, according to a recent study.
The socially responsible marketing firm, Good.Must.Grow, polled over 1,000 consumers and found 30 percent said they plan to increase the amount of goods or services they buy from socially responsible companies in the coming year. This is up slightly from 29 percent in 2013.
However, just 18 percent plan to increase charitable giving in 2014, a decline from 21 percent in 2013.
Fifty-two percent said purchasing socially responsible products was an easier way for them to give back consistently as opposed to contributing to charitable organizations.
Twenty-nine percent said they avoided buying products from a company specifically because it wasn’t socially responsible. This is up from 25 percent who reported the same activity in 2013.
How a company treats its employees was the most important factor, with 45 percent rating it as very important when evaluating whether or not a company is socially responsible. The company's impact on the environment followed closely at 40 percent.
However, 45 percent of consumers cited a lack of product knowledge as the main reason preventing them from buying more socially responsible products in 2013. They did not know how to find products or which products were socially responsible. This indicates that more has to be done to make socially responsible products and services easier for consumers to identify and support, according to Good.Must.Grow.
“The line between charity and commerce is blurring for many consumers, thanks to increasing opportunities for socially responsible spending,” said Heath Shackleford, founder of Good.Must.Grow. “As a result, forward-thinking causes should be evaluating whether they can diversify their organizations so they aren’t solely dependent upon grants and donations.”