Eight in 10 consumers say they're more loyal to purpose-driven brands: Cone

Cone and Porter Novelli surveyed more than 1,000 Americans this spring on their attitudes about purpose-driven companies.

NEW YORK: Purpose-driven brands have stronger support from American customers than those purely motivated by money, according to the inaugural Purpose study from Cone and Porter Novelli.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they feel companies with a purpose care more about them and their families. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they’re more loyal to purpose brands, and 73% said they would defend them. Another 67% said they are more willing to forgive such a company for a mistake.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they would tell others to buy from their companies and 73% would share content about that company.

Nearly nine in 10 respondents said they would buy a product from a company with purpose, but customer acquisition only goes so far. Forty percent said they are more loyal to quality brands, versus 33% for purpose-driven brands, and 27% for lower cost brands. Forty-one percent said they are more likely to purchase from quality brands, versus 29% who said they prefer to buy lower-cost goods and 20% who prefer purpose brands. Forty-four percent said they would recommend quality products, versys 29% saying they would vouch for low-cost goods, and 27% would recommend a purpose brand.

Alison DaSilva, EVP at Cone, said the results demonstrate an opportunity for companies to connect with consumers on issues they care about. However, she cautioned against companies taking the "catastrophic" step of trying to "stamp purpose on their brand."

"This is about companies looking at their organization and DNA and determining what their role in society is," she says. "There’s no question that users are more sophisticated than ever, and they will make sure brands are living out their purpose."

Cone surveyed a random sample of more than 1,000 Americans online from March 8-16 with partner M/A/R/C Research.

Privacy and internet security and domestic job growth topped the list of problems Americans want companies to solve at 85% each, followed by access to healthcare (85%), sexual harassment (83%), racial equality (81%), and women’s rights (80%). These issues were followed by the cost of higher education (76%), climate change (73%), immigration (74%), gun control (69%), LGBTQ rights (63%), and fake news (56%).

Respondents expected three industries to have a sense of purpose and communicate about it:  health and wellness (87%), food and beverage (81%), and technology (81%). They also said they want the following industries to have and communicate about a sense of purpose: manufacturing (79%), automotive (78%), retail (77%), financial services (77%), professional services (76%), and footwear and apparel (76%).

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