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CSR—From Ideals to Reality

Companies and entities have been embracing corporate social responsibility—CSR for short—for many years. But what, exactly, does it mean? Community giving and green practices are great thoughts for corporations. But do they actually influence consumers and impact bottom lines?

According to JLL-owned Big Red Rooster, the answer is yes. In its recent report, “POV: Corporate Social Responsibility—Is Anyone Paying Attention,” the research shows that price and product still remain important to consumers. But more and more, consumers are eying the impact that brands and companies have on communities before making decisions.

Big Red Rooster conducted an online study in partnership with ENGINE Insights in early April 2022, receiving responses from more than 1,000 demographically represented adults in the U.S. age 18 and older. Here’s what the researchers learned:

  • 52% indicated they would pay more for a brand that is socially responsible. On the other hand, 48% indicated they would stop using a brand that is not socially responsible.
  • 43% research a brand’s social responsibility practices before making a purchase. Meanwhile, 30% of those surveyed bought from a brand for the first time after learning about their CSR efforts. And 30% actually switched brands because of a lack of information about CSR efforts.
  • Furthermore, when it came to what CSR preference consumers had:
  • 50% supported responsible product development and production
  • 48% supported helping those in need
  • 47% liked the idea of supporting local communities

And when it came to which population cohort wanted to know about a brand’s social responsibility before buying, millennials came in first (63%). At the other end of the spectrum, 28% of baby boomers indicated they’d research a company’s CSR before buying from it.

The report suggested that companies do a better job of communicating their CSR efforts to consumers. To reach out to consumers, Big Red Rooster told readers to “use platforms with the highest exposure and the broadest reach.”

And don’t ignore internal audiences. Communicating CSR initiatives and goals to employees is “a critical aspect of their overall employee experience,” the report said. Along those lines, close to half of those surveyed indicated they’d be very interested in participating in their organizations’ CSR efforts, with 32% indicating they were unaware of such efforts.

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About Amy Wolff Sorter

I love content. I love writing it, visualizing it, and manipulating it to fit into different formats. I have years of experience in working with content, both as creator and editor. The content I create and edit provides assistance with many goals, ranging from lead generation, to developing street cred through well-timed thought-leadership pieces. Content skills include, but aren't limited to, articles and blogs, e-mails, promotional collateral, infographics, e-books and white papers, website copy and more.

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