‘Virtuous’ brands command greater trust
Many consumers want to make the world a better place and are willing to reward those companies and brands that help them do so with increased trust, loyalty and word-of-mouth, reports a new study titled “Brand Virtue as a Competitive Asset.”
It reports on research recently conducted by Context Marketing and Noesis Research.
According to the study, three out of four consumers report they are willing to pay more for brands they see as behaving responsibly. Of those willing to pay more, around 40 percent said they would pay as much as 10 percent more, and another 30 percent say they are willing to pay a premium higher than 10 percent.
The study also shows that consumers are willing to allow brands and companies more than one path to virtuous behavior: eight out of ten consumers report they do not differentiate between a brand`s being good for society in some way, such as producing healthy foods or using environmentally-friendly packaging, and brands that do good for society, such as supporting public service programs that
address social issues.
“Many consumers seem to have a general concept of `modern virtue` in mind when they evaluate brands and companies,” said Bob Kenney, Context Marketing principal. “It`s clear that what constitutes `socially responsible` behavior is evolving in the consumer mind beyond the traditional definition of corporate social responsibility. Today`s consumers increasingly expect brands and companies to help change the world, even if only in small ways,” he said.
The survey was designed to capture the opinions and aspirations of a more upscale consumer segment. It included 600 working adults living in major US markets, the majority of which hold at least a college degree and have a household income of $75,000 or more. Data for this study was collected via online survey during June and July 2009.