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Aussie Consumers Not So Engaged with Responsible Companies


21 August 2013 at 10:20 am
Lina Caneva
Australian consumers are less willing to spend more on products from socially responsible companies than the global average, new research suggests.

Lina Caneva | 21 August 2013 at 10:20 am


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Aussie Consumers Not So Engaged with Responsible Companies
21 August 2013 at 10:20 am

Australian consumers are less willing to spend more on products from socially responsible companies than the global average, new research suggests.  

The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility found that while 50% of global consumers, up from 45% in 2011, were willing to pay more, only 37% of Australian consumers were, placing it in the bottom quartile of countries measured.

The global information and measurement company polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

Indian consumers (75%) had the greatest willingness to pay extra, while Estonian consumers (29%) were least inclined.

Asian countries took up four of the five top places, with the Philippines,Thailand and Indonesia also having consumer willingness of over two thirds, while European respondents were less likely to pay extra, averaging 36% across the region.

Since 2011, willingness to spend more with socially responsible companies increased in 74% of countries, including Australia, with a 6% increase.

South Africa and Greece had the largest changes in consumer sentiment, each with a 21% increase, while Turkey had the greatest decrease, losing 5% of consumer support.

The percentage of consumers willing to pay more increased among both males and females and across all age groups.

Respondents under 30 were most likely spend more for goods and services from companies that give back.

The  40-44 age group displayed the greatest change, with 50 percent agreeing they would pay more, up from 38 percent two years ago.

The data also revealed that 43 percent of global respondents claim to have actually spent more on products and services from companies that give back to society, a figure only 7% less than those who say they would be willing to do so.

Yet several markets that indicated a high willingness to pay more for products and services from companies that give back, had lower rates of experience in actually paying more.

In Slovakia, for instance, 50% said they would be willing to spend more, but just 22 percent said they had actually done so. Similar spreads existed in Bulgaria (53% willing, but 31% who had), Peru (62% willing, and 42% who had), and Hong Kong (52% willing but 32% who had).

“It’s unclear how many consumers actually have the opportunity to make this choice. At the moment of truth – at the store, online and elsewhere – consumers have little clarity around which companies have programs to give back and which ones don’t,” the report said

“Today, the question is not whether consumers care about social impact, but which ones, how much and how to appeal to them,” Nic Covey, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Nielsen said.

“The answer isn’t necessarily a traditional cause-marketing campaign – general responsibility, sustainable innovation and purpose messaging might also engage these consumers. No matter the approach, savvy brands are figuring out how to hit this nerve,” he said.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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