Mumbai: A study of consumers in India, China and Japan shows that despite the economic downturn, a strong majority think it is important to purchase products and brands they perceive to be socially responsible (India 90%, China 90% and Japan 64%). The study is part of a 10-market global study called ’goodpurpose’ conducted by PR firm Edelman. The study seeks to understand consumer attitudes and preferences on the emerging topic of social purpose.
Even in an economic downturn, the majority of consumers in India and China would remain loyal to brands that have a good purpose. 84% in India and 77% of consumers in China say they would remain loyal to socially responsible brands in a recession. However, Japanese consumers tend to be less committed during tough times, with 46% saying they would remain loyal to a brand that demonstrated social purpose in an economic downturn
”What we find particularly interesting in this study is that economic concerns are taking a distant place behind consumers’ demands that quality brands be produced by socially conscious companies,” commented Alan VanderMolen, Edelman’s Asia-Pacific President. “We believe this is driven by two factors. First, the obvious fallout from product safety issues in the region over the past 18 months; and second, an expanding middle class that now has the power to address social issues at home through purchase decisions.”
According to VanderMolen, brands that engage in social purpose have the opportunity to solidify relationships with consumers by consistently delivering quality products and demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the social welfare of the communities in which they are operating..
Overall, the environment remains a high priority for consumers in India, China and Japan. About 88% of Indian consumers and 82% of Chinese consumers are prepared to pay more for goods that are environmentally friendly. 68% of Japanese consumers feel the environment is the most important issue.
However, there are some differences amongst consumers in these markets as well. Indians think it is important to take environmentally friendly actions, they do not believe the environment is in crisis. Respondents in India are significantly more likely than their peers in every other country to agree that there is too much fuss about the environment (79%), and they do not believe we are having global warming (56%). However, 92% feel it is their duty to contribute to a better society and environment.
“When brands act as ‘citizen brands,’ contributing to community and society beyond their functional benefits, ‘doing good’ can translate to ‘doing well’ and the brand can forge a stronger emotional bond with its consumers,” said VanderMolen.