American demand for cause is stronger than ever, especially among multicultural consumers. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study , Hispanics represent one of the most actively-engaged population segments to-date and exhibit stronger inclinations to purchase cause-related products as well as participate in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts:
- 94% of Hispanics are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause (vs. 89% of the general U.S. population)
- 62% has bought a product with a social or environmental benefit in the past 12 months (vs. 54%)
- 82% would volunteer if given the opportunity (vs. 76%)
- 70% has already donated to causes this year (vs. 65%)
Hispanics are also slightly more optimistic about the power of individuals and corporations to positively influence critical social and environmental issues. Twenty percent believes companies have made significant positive impact (vs. 16% national average), and more than one-third (36% vs. 25%) believes individuals can appreciably impact issues through their purchasing decisions.
The 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study is the latest in Cone’s 20 year analysis of Americans’ attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around corporate support of social and environmental issues. This year’s study features groundbreaking data on how multicultural consumers – including Hispanics and African Americans – engage with and are influenced by CSR.
“Multicultural consumers are no longer niche segments; they are the new mainstream. Their buying power and social influence cannot be ignored,” says Craig Bida , executive vice president – Social Impact , Cone Communications . “Hispanics are undeniably leading the way – their optimism and enthusiasm to partner with companies to build a better life for their families and communities is immense and unmatched.”
African Americans Particularly Influenced by CSR
Corporate social responsibility is particularly influential among African Americans, as well. Consistent with the national average, more than half (54%) have purchased a cause-related product in the past 12 months. However, African Americans are more steadfast in their conviction to shop with a conscience, and slightly more optimistic about individuals’ and companies’ ability to effect positive change:
- 42% of African Americans are “very likely” to switch brands to one associated with a good cause (vs. 37% national average)
- 33% believes individuals can have significant positive impact on social issues through their purchasing decisions (vs. 25%)
- 20% feels companies have made significant impact on critical issues (vs. 16%)
Multicultural Consumers More Active in Social Media
Representing a more connected CSR consumer population, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely than the national average to leverage social media to engage with companies around critical social and environmental issues:
- 62% Hispanics and 55% African Americans report using social media to engage with companies around social and environmental issues (vs. 51% national average)
- 31% Hispanics and 33% African Americans use these channels to champion corporate efforts and initiatives (vs. 27%)
- 23% Hispanics and 19% African Americans acknowledge using social channels to share negative information about companies and issues (vs. 20%)
“Companies have long embraced corporate support of social and environmental issues to build brand relevance and consumer support, but today, marketers must evaluate new audiences as part of their efforts to create meaningful social impact,” says Alison DaSilva , executive vice president, Research & Insights – Cone Communications . “The passion and activism of multicultural consumers should be met with customized strategies to harness and rally their support as this critical business strategy continues to evolve.”
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