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BizReport : Research : May 29, 2013

Study: Consumers want more corporate responsibility

Although some state that with the increase in cyber connections, we are losing our human connections, one report indicates that an increasing number of consumers are pushing for deeper corporate responsibility on a variety of issues. Especially in the social space, the report finds that consumers are looking for greater corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their favorite brands.

by Kristina Knight

So much so that more than 90% say they will boycott brands found to behave irresponsibly.

"Consumers across the globe resoundingly affirm CSR as a critical business strategy," said Dan Soulas, Managing Director, Echo Research. "It is vital for companies to understand the unique, market level nuances to effectively participate in CSR interchange. A one size fits all approach just won't work."

According to the 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study, a follow up to a 2011 study, more than one-quarter of consumers use social media to 'share negative information' about brands and more than 80% say they consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) when choosing where to shop and buy products.

Other interesting take aways include:

• One-third (34%) of people use social media to share positives about brands/issues
• 29% use social media to learn about issues/organizations
• 38% of consumers believe brands should focus on economic development, environmental and human rights issues
• 91% say brands need to 'go beyond minimum standards' to operate responsibly

"Social media is changing the face of CSR, as citizens worldwide have unprecedented access to information about corporate behavior," says Alison DaSilva, executive vice president - Research & Insights, Cone Communications. "They are poised to not only engage with companies around vital issues but also serve as CSR megaphones, equally propagating the good and bad."

Tags: Cone Research, corporate responsibility, CSR trends, Echo Research, social marketing, social media trends

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