‘Better behaved businesses for loyal consumers’. An analysis of the SA Sustainability research conducted by Ogilvyearth, reveals that consumers want businesses to give them the right reasons to buy their products and services.
While even more people – 88.2% compared with 85% in last year’s survey – would boycott a company or brand if they believed it was acting irresponsibly in the world,they want to be helped to make the ‘right’ decisions. A huge number of people (92.1%) want to know what businesses and brands are up in terms of their actions which will influence them to be loyal consumers.
Uncertainty rules when it comes to ‘green claims’ made by companies and this is reflected in nearly 60% of the survey sample who say they can’t trust green claims made by brands and businesses and nearly 70% think that ‘green claims’ are just another money spinner. This just demonstrates how important it is for business to communicate what their endeavours are regarding their CSR programmes.
Are consumers more aware?
Over 90% of the sample wants to know how to measure their own carbon footprint and 82% agree that climate change will change the way we do business in the future. Nearly everyone (96%) believes that recycling makes a positive difference to the environment and more people this year (86% compared to 84% last year) care about where their food comes from.
What’s also clear is that we should not assume that what we do and what we say are not intrinsically linked and highly perceptible by our consumers. Consumers are far more ‘savvy’ than we give them credit for.
“What does Corporate Social Responsibility mean”? A healthy 81% response rate got it correct by saying that it represents initiatives that contribute to the environment, society, and economy.
In South Africa over 5 billion is spent on corporate CSR projects per annum. These ‘feel good’ projects have very real contributions to make to raising awareness and developing strategies that are geared towards long term, sustainable change.
Social media campaigns will bust corporate green washers and big brash PR and AD campaigns with clever pay off lines about how ‘green’ they may be won’t cut it with consumers who are waking up to the evidence that things really do have to change, and fast. Brands who champion the cause of sustainability in all areas – social, environmental and economic – will lead the way and result in loyal consumers in the future; the “conscious consumer”.