Steve Mandala, President of Advertising Sales & Marketing
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Watch this Webinar: Connect With Cause

By Steve Mandala, President of Advertising Sales & Marketing

Jul 26, 2018

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been around since the 1960s, and today, more than ever, it has become necessary for businesses to increase their social purpose efforts and take a stand on issues that are core to the company or brand’s DNA because consumers are demanding it. To further hone in this area, especially when it comes to Hispanics, last year in partnership with Media Predict, we conducted proprietary research to better understand how CSR efforts benefit brands and how awareness of one’s brand “good works” could potentially impact purchase intent among both Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers.

In particular, answer the following questions: to what extent are consumers aware of CSR efforts by brands? and how does awareness of a company’s CSR efforts impact purchase intent?

The study was divided into two sections. The first, examined unaided and aided awareness of brands and their respective CSR efforts. The second part of the study delved into how awareness of a brand’s CSR efforts impacted the consumer’s purchase intent. In addition, we complemented and compared our insights with Kantar Futures’ U.S. Monitor, an annual study on consumer values, lifestyles and motivations.

Here are three takeaways:

  • Social purpose matters to Hispanics

According to Kantar, over 80 percent of both Hispanics and non-Hispanics are more loyal to companies that make sincere efforts to be part of or invest in their communities. However, Hispanics were 30% more likely to say that companies should take a stand on important social issues. Important to note that this underscores UCI’s unparalleled relationship with Hispanic America and recent announcement of comprehensive multi-year impact initiative: Rise Up: Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Counted.

  • Social purpose impacts purchase and spending behavior

Based on our study of 11 companies and their CSR efforts in 2017, once Hispanics are aware of a brand’s CSR efforts, their purchase intent increases significantly. On average, Hispanics were 11% more likely than non-Hispanics to purchase a product based on their recognition of the brand’s social purpose. Moreover, Hispanics will spend more on brands that publicly support causes that they personally support. Likewise, our study showed that both Hispanics and non-Hispanics rated social causes as very important to them.

  • Untapped opportunity: low awareness of brands and their social causes

When looking at unaided awareness, only approximately a quarter of respondents were able to identify or connect a specific brand to its social cause. Although recognition among Hispanics was slightly higher than non-Hispanics, these results demonstrate that there is an opportunity for companies to increase communications of their CSR efforts.

Brands like Patagonia, who are putting social purpose messages at the core of their brand marketing efforts, are increasing brand awareness, hence seeing tremendous sales growth. During a webinar UCI and Media predict hosted, marketers received insights on how to better align their business opportunity with social purpose, and how to convert social purpose messaging into an effective marketing tool.

The research demonstrates that there is an opportunity for companies to increase – albeit aligned with their company’s mission – their  CSR efforts as this will not only drive awareness but will also better engage consumers, and drive growth with Hispanics in particular, because they are more likely to purchase a brand or product that aligns with issues that matter to the community.

 

Source: Media Predict. CSR Brand Awareness Study 2017. Kantar Futures. US Monitor 2017.

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