business news in context, analysis with attitude

Advertising Age reports on the 2007 Cone Cause Evolution Survey, which it says “finds that fully two-thirds of Americans consider a company's business practices when deciding what to buy. It also found that 87% of U.S. consumers would switch from one brand to another if the other brand was associated with a good cause, up 31% since 1993. According to Cone, 92% of consumers value companies that promote social issues, and 83% say companies have a responsibility to help support them.”

In addition, according to Ad Age, “Cone also said 72% of employees wish their bosses would push for social issues to be part of the companys' business plans -- a 38% increase since Cone's last survey in 2004.”

"[Consumers] want to be affiliated with a company that is good," Carol Cone, chairman-CEO of Cone, a Boston-based strategy and communications agency, tells Ad Age. "If consumers see companies behave badly, consumers can move to a company that is a neutral corporate citizen or a proactive corporate citizen."
KC's View:
I certainly see this in my own shopping habits, at least to some degree. I do my best not to buy products from companies that have practices that offend me, and I’d rather buy products from companies that seem focused on more than just the bottom line.

That said, I have to admit that my real preference is for quality products that suit my lifestyle and my tastes…and that when I find products like these, I’ll settle for them being neutral.

However, my sense of this is that it is a moving target – and that, depending on the company, the products and the cause, I could be moved into making different consumption decisions fairly easily.