Elaine Fogel

Are You a Socially Conscious Consumer?

socially-conscious-consumerDo you prefer to buy products and services from companies that implement programs that give back to society? This was the question Nielsen asked of 28,000 online respondents last March from 56 countries worldwide. And here’s what it discovered:

  • 66% of consumers around the world say they prefer to buy products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society
  • 62% prefer to work for these companies
  • 59% invest in these companies
  • 46% say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from these companies

So, who are these socially conscious consumers? Mostly the younger generation: 63% are under the age of 40; 51% of all respondents aged 15 to 39 are willing to pay extra for such products and services.

And, the most socially conscious country? The Philippines where 68% of respondents said they were willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that had implemented programs to give back to society.

And the least? The Netherlands, where 20% of respondents indicated their willingness to pay extra for these products and services.

The survey results also indicated that socially-conscious consumers care most about environmental sustainability, followed by improvements to science, technology and math education and eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

So, the big question is… are YOU a socially conscious consumer? What’s your socially conscious consumer IQ?

Now, there’s a short online quiz from McKinsey & Company that can help you answer this question. Take it and find out.

5 Responses to Are You a Socially Conscious Consumer?

  • These are important first steps and necessary ones at that. There are many amazing companies out there who have intertwined making money and mission. If consumers are starting to come on board, that is good news for us all. It is they who will create the change we hope to see.

  • This research is pretty silly. Better research considers actual behaviour of consumers. There are plenty of consumption choices that take into account ethical or social issues, but they form part of a broader mix. Defining socially conscious consumers by what they say rather than exploring consumers ethical or social choices based on what they do – and without considering the social context of their purchasing behaviour – is downright silly. Google ‘the myth of the ethical consumer’

    • Good point, Gordon! However, it does give us a glimpse into the mindset of different demographics. I wouldn’t use this research if I had to put money on the table, but it certainly demonstrates that consumers worldwide, are eager to do “the right thing.”

      Thanks for weighing in!

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