Despite the economic downturn, 90% Indians think it is important to purchase products and brands they perceive to be socially responsible, according to 'Good Purpose,' a study conducted by Edelman. The 10-market global study seeks to understand consumer attitudes and preferences on the emerging issue of social purpose.
According to the study, Indians do not believe the environment is in crisis, but they think it is important to take environmentally-friendly actions. Hence, 88% of Indian consumers are prepared to pay more for goods that are environmentally friendly.
Says Alan VanderMolen (pictured), Edelman's Asia-Pacific president, "The current economic crisis has made little or no difference to the financial or voluntary support given to good causes by Indians. We found that 23% of Indian respondents have actually paid more for a brand because it supports a good cause. We believe this is driven by two factors. First, the obvious fallout from product safety issues in the region over the past 18 months; and second, an expanding middle class that now has the power to address social issues at home through purchase decisions."
The study also reveals that in India, 49% of consumers do not know of any socially responsible brands. But a large majority agrees that it is important for brands and companies to set aside money for a good cause during an economic recession.
"Given the loyalty to socially-conscious brands, companies and brands in India should look at engaging with consumers to effect enduring positive change and build a deeper relationship with them. When brands act as 'citizen brands,' contributing to community and society beyond their functional benefits, 'doing good' can translate to 'doing well' and the brand can forge a stronger emotional bond with its consumers," VanderMolen adds.
84% in India say they would remain loyal to socially-responsible brands in a recession. "Brands that engage in social purpose have the opportunity to solidify relationships with consumers by consistently delivering quality products and demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the social welfare of the communities in which they are operating. Even in turbulent times like these, corporations receive short and long term benefits by delivering socially purposeful brands and top quality products," he says.