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If offered comparable price and quality, 91% of consumers worldwide would switch brands to one associated with a good cause, according to a recent study by Cone Communications and Echo.

Similarly, 92% of consumers surveyed said they would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit if given the opportunity, and more than two-thirds (67%) said they have done so in the previous 12 months.

Moreover, 90% of people surveyed said they would boycott a brand for irresponsible behavior.

Below, additional key findings from the Global Corporate Social Responsibility Study, which was based on a survey of more than 10,000 people in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Russia, China, India, and Japan.

Consumers' Expectations of Businesses 

  • Just 6% of consumers surveyed say the singular purpose of business is to make money for shareholders.
  • 91% say companies must go beyond the minimum standards required by law to operate responsibly.
  • 22% say companies have made a significant positive impact on social and environmental issues.
  • 27% say consumers themselves can have a significant positive impact through their purchases.

Social Media

  • 34% of consumers surveyed use social media to share positive information about companies and issues.
  • 29% are using social media to learn more about specific organizations and issues.
  • 26% are using social media to share negative information.

Top Issues for Consumers

  • Economic development (38%) is the most pressing issue that survey respondents want companies to address.
  • The environment (19%), human rights (11%), and poverty/hunger (11%) are the next most important issues.

About the research: The Global Corporate Social Responsibility Study was based on an online survey conducted in February 2013 of 10,287 people in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Russia, China, India, and Japan.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji