A global Internet survey by Nielsen finds that nearly two-thirds of the people who are willing to pay more to deal with socially responsible companies are young – under 40. But overall, slightly less than half (46%) of consumers are willing to make that extra expense.
63% of global, socially-conscious consumers are under age 40, Nielsen reported. They consult social media when making purchase decisions and are most concerned about environmental, educational and hunger causes.
Nielsen’s Global Corporate Citizenship Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that 46% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society. Nielsen defines these consumers as socially-conscious consumers.
“It’s clear that corporate social responsibility efforts resonate with a specific group of consumers,” said Nic Covey, vice president of Nielsen Cares, Nielsen’s global corporate social responsibility program. “Marketers need to know who those consumers are in order to maximize the social and business return of their cause marketing efforts. This understanding allows brands to engage in social impact efforts that appeal to the right consumers with the right causes and through the right channels.”
Nielsen’s survey shows that overall, younger consumers are more willing to spend extra for products and services from socially-responsible companies. 51% of all respondents aged 15 to 39 are willing to pay extra for such products and services compared to 37% of respondents over age 40. Looking at socially-conscious consumers specifically, Nielsen’s findings show that 63% are under the age of 40.
Consumers in Asia Pacific (55%), the Middle East and Africa (53%) and Latin America (49%) are more willing to pay extra for products and services from socially-responsible companies than consumers in North America (35%) and Europe (32%). According to Nielsen’s survey, the highest concentration of socially-conscious consumers is in the Philippines, where 68% of respondents are willing to pay extra for products, while the lowest concentration is in the Netherlands, where 21% of respondents indicated a willingness to spend more.
Reaching the global, socially-conscious consumer
According to Nielsen’s survey, when it comes to brands and advertising, global, socially-conscious consumers trust recommendations from people they know (95%) and look for opinions and information posted by other consumers online (76%). Socially-conscious consumers are more likely than other survey respondents to use social media to help make purchase decisions (59% vs. 46% of all respondents).
“In order for cause marketing efforts to affect sales, customers must first be aware of a company’s efforts,” said Covey. “Nielsen’s information indicates that social media is a critical tool for effective cause marketing.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Citizenship was conducted between August 31 and September 16, 2011 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.