BOSTON: Teens favor companies that align themselves with causes, but believe that most are not doing enough to support the causes they care about.
BOSTON: Teens favor companies that align themselves with causes,
but believe that most are not doing enough to support the causes they
This was a key finding of the 1999 Cone/Roper Cause-Related Teen Survey,
which bolsters the notion that cause-related marketing can influence
buying habits and gain adolescent loyalty and trust. The study was
conducted via America Online between August 5 and 17, and consisted of
more than 600 online interviews with teenagers aged 12 to 17.
’All the research we had on cause marketing was for adults aged 18 and
older,’ said Cone CEO Carol Cone, whose agency has been involved with
cause programming since 1993. ’With the so-called generation Y
reportedly being more socially responsible and volunteering more than
past generations, we decided it was about time to create a baseline and
According to the survey, 67% of teens are shopping with a cause in mind
during the back-to-school season. Over half of survey respondents said
that when price and quality are equal, they would switch brands and/or
retailers to another that is associated with a good cause.
’This sends an important message to companies about how teens will be
making their buying decisions,’ said Cone. ’The price of entry into the
marketplace is a quality product, a fair price and good customer
service, which all of the leaders in their categories have. The question
becomes, how can you tap into the customer in a relevant way?’
Eighty-nine percent of teens said they value companies that support
causes they care about, while 78% claim they have purchased a product
that helped benefit a cause. And if a company is involved in
cause-related activities, almost all respondents - 90% - want to know
Despite this, over two-thirds of the teens surveyed said that companies
are not doing enough to help combat the issues they are concerned with,
including violence in schools, drugs, crime and AIDS.
Cone pointed to several companies (some represented by her agency) that
she believes have established highly effective cause-marketing
Levi Strauss is communicating its commitment to AIDS awareness through
PSAs and by teaming up with partners such as MTV. Jane Cosmetics donates
profits from a special shade of makeup to selected causes such as
Artists Against Racism.