Good Is Gold In NZ
14 November 2002 at 12:11 pm
A landmark study entitled “Good IS Gold—The Stillwater/ACNielsen Report” shows that 74% of New Zealand consumers will happily change brands for to support a worthy cause!
And both consumers and employees solidly and consistently support cause-related activities. The companies who practice Cause Related Marketing (CRM) also report seeing the benefits to their brand and organisation’s reputation, image, and bottom line.
This research conducted by ACNielsen surveyed 1,000 New Zealanders as well as Marketing Directors from some of New Zealand’s largest companies in an attempt to measure consumer awareness and attitudes towards companies that integrate support of worthy causes into their overall marketing mix.
Stillwater’s Director, Peter Rachtman says they’re not talking about philanthropy. Cause Related Marketing is a strategic positioning and marketing discipline which links a company and its products to a social cause or issue. It’s not a gift, but a carefully orchestrated partnership where all parties benefit.
Cause Related Marketing has been a recognised and rapidly growing part of some companies’ marketing mix since the mid-1980’s when American Express launched a well-publicised campaign to raise funds for the renovation of the Statue of Liberty.
In New Zealand, while some companies recognise the importance of supporting worthy causes, much of the good work by companies is either done anonymously or the companies are not fully leveraging the kudos and benefits that are available to them.
Among the results of the Stillwater/ACNielsen Report are that:
85% of New Zealanders tend to think more highly of a company that supports charities.
94% feel that it is a good idea for New Zealand companies to take this position.
The results show consumers have more than just warm feelings towards a company or a brand behind the cause. New Zealanders can be influenced in their buying decisions and will even switch brands to a company that supports causes that they believe in.
74% of the people surveyed stated that if price and quality were equal, they would be prepared to change their normal brand or service if a similar brand supported a cause that they believe in.
65% stated they would even pay more money to support a worthy cause.
Peter Rachtman says that in a world where most market leaders are recognised for quality, service and pricing parity, it is important for a company to offer something extra to build brand loyalty. “What do you stand for” is becoming an increasingly important question for companies to answer.
In the United States, a similar survey, called The Cone/Roper Report was produced in 1993 and again last year. It gave conclusive evidence that companies can very clearly ‘do well by doing good’.
James Armstrong, Group Executive Director Customised Research ACNielsen (NZ) Ltd says ACNielsen recognises that CRM as well as sponsorship in general is a growing field which has traditionally lacked hard data as to how it influences consumer attitudes.
Armstrong adds that many organisations participate in CRM, but do not have sufficient information to objectively evaluate the impact of CRM, to be able to start incorporating it as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Rachtman says CRM is a specialised business opportunity, with special disciplines in order to be successful. Picking the right cause is important as well as the method that the company gives their support. In addition, just as in any type of sponsorship, their involvement must be leveraged through additional advertising and promotion.