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BBMG Study: Three-Fourths of U.S. Consumers Reward, Punish Brands Based on Social and Environmental Practices

Enlightened 10 percent are 3X more likely to use social media and influence others to shop, drop products

Submitted by: BBMG

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Sustainability

Posted: Jun 02, 2009 – 12:24 PM EST


Jun. 02 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY. - June 2, 2009 – America’s consumers are rewarding brands that align with their values, punishing those that don’t and spreading the word about corporate practices with their family, friends and peers, according to the 2009 BBMG Conscious Consumer Report: Redefining Value in a New Economy, by branding and marketing agency BBMG.

Three-in-four U.S. consumers (77%) say they “can make a positive difference by purchasing products from socially or environmentally responsible companies,” and 72% say they have “avoided purchasing products from companies whose practices I disagree with,” signaling significant consumer risks and rewards based on corporate behavior.

As important, company behavior is actively driving word-of-mouth influence. More than half of consumers (55%) say they “often encourage others to buy from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible,” and nearly half (48%) say they’ve “told other people to stop buying products from companies whose practices I disagree with.” One-in-four consumers (28%) say they “often post reviews and recommendations of products and companies on blogs, message boards and social networking sites.”

“Consumers are craving brands that deliver both value and values,” said Raphael Bemporad, co-founder of BBMG, an agency that integrates branding, sustainability and innovation. “More than ever, consumers are rewarding companies that deliver more holistic brand benefits and punishing those that don’t.”

The BBMG report also finds that Enlighteneds, the 10 percent of consumers most likely to align their purchases with their values, are four times more likely to “encourage others to buy from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible” (63% strongly agree vs. 16% of all adults) and three times more likely to “tell others to stop buying products from companies whose practices I disagree with” (51% strongly agree vs. 17% all adults). Similarly, Enlighteneds lead the way in posting reviews and recommendations of products and companies on blogs and social networking sites (61% agree vs. 28% of all adults).

“Enlightened consumers are the most ardent and vocal champions for responsible companies and foes to irresponsible ones. Earning their respect and admiration is essential as they actively shape the content and conversations that influence the other 90 percent of consumers. Brands that reach, engage and empower this passionate 10 percent will benefit from enhanced credibility, higher trust and positive word-of-mouth influence,” said Mitch Baranowski, co-founder of BBMG.

The BBMG Conscious Consumer Report explores the attitudes, preferences, values and experiences that shape consumer purchasing behavior, brand loyalty and peer-to-peer influence. Conducted by BBMG, in conjunction with research partners Global Strategy Group and Bagatto, the report combines ethnographic research in two U.S. markets (conducted in January and February 2009) with a national survey of 2,000 adults (conducted October 26 - November 6, 2008). The survey margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points.

About BBMG:

With offices in New York City and San Francisco, BBMG is a nationally-recognized firm dedicated to creating innovative brands that reach, engage and inspire today’s increasingly conscious consumers. Clients include ShoreBank, Clif Bar, ONE Drinks, Ceres, Green America, Social Venture Network, among others.

About Global Strategy Group:

Global Strategy Group is a leading strategic research firm specializing in identifying the underlying factors that impact consumer and voter attitudes and behavior.

About Bagatto:

Bagatto is a Customer Insights Consultancy specializing in customer focused business, product, and service design research and strategy.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: (212) 473-4902 x 201

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