Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important in the business world over the last ten years. Many companies already take CSR very seriously and new surveys published in 2015 reveal how consumers feel about corporations that make an effort to be socially responsible.
According to an infographic from this year's Cone Communications global survey, many consumers value CSR efforts. Of 10,000 consumers surveyed, 91% expect companies to practise good CSR. Companies that tackle social and environmental issues are trusted by 90% of consumers and are viewed positively by 93%. Also, 88% of consumers are loyal to brands that come from socially responsible companies.
Not only do consumers expect responsibility from corporations, they are willing to do their part as well. Approximately 71% of consumers will pay more for a responsible product, and 57% will buy a product of a lower quality if it is more environmentally or socially responsible. The statistics clearly show that consumers support CSR.
Companies also have to make their CSR efforts widely-known and easily understood. Annual reports on CSR that tend towards 100+ pages in length are largely ignored by the public. While the main goal is to make a difference, companies should inform consumers about CSR efforts. Social media is an excellent platform for communicating about policies and events that benefit society, the environment, etc. Creating videos, interactive websites, and infographics that consumers can view are some other options to replace long reports. CSR efforts can also be noted in the media or through advertisements. The key is to make CSR information easy to find and understand, so that consumers can feel confident that the products they use are responsible.
If CSR was ever a question mark, the question has been answered. From a consumer standpoint, social and environmental responsibility is expected. It increases trust, loyalty, and positive image. The numbers support it, the people support it, and it is actually good for the world. Large corporations often have a budget for CSR managers and big campaigns to support an issue, but CSR is important for companies of all sizes. Advice from Giva on "Adapting CSR for Small Business" can be found on our North America blog here.