Singaporeans say: Businesses not doing enough to support social issues and causes [Press Releases]

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under News

10 May 2012, Singapore – Singaporeans say businesses fall short when it comes to supporting social issues and causes, according to the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study – the first study of its kind in Singapore to measure consumer attitudes around social purpose.

While 9 in 10 Singaporeans believe it is important for companies to address societal issues, only 3 in 10 think businesses are performing well in this area. In particular, the top three causes that Singaporeans are most concerned about involve protecting the environment, improvement in the quality of healthcare and equal access to education.

“Along with the continued rise of affluence in Singapore comes an increasing level of social consciousness and a resulting demand from consumers for brands and corporations to take the lead on societal issues,” said Bob Grove, Managing Director, Edelman Southeast Asia. “Aligned with findings from our Edelman 2012 Trust Barometer unveiled earlier this year, it is clear that societal attributes now play an important role in helping businesses and brands build future trust and success. It is no longer just about operational factors.”

Social Purpose: Driving Purchasing Behaviour and Brand Advocacy

While Singaporeans say businesses are not doing enough to address societal issues, companies who do meet these expectations could see positive business outcomes through purchase behavior and brand advocacy.

84% of Singaporeans say that they would buy the products and services of a company that actively supports a good cause. If quality and price were the same, Singaporeans say social purpose (54%) would be the most important factor in their purchasing decision – even more so than design or innovation (34%).

In the same vein, almost 9 in 10 say they would be more likely to give their business to a company that supports good causes and has fair prices than a company who competes based on attractive pricing and discounts.

Beyond direct purchase, 83% of Singaporeans say they would go on to recommend the company’s products and services and share positive opinions and experiences about the company.

“Singapore consumers today are increasingly inclined towards purchasing products and services from brands that support good causes and are ethically responsible,” Mr Grove said. “This offers a real business opportunity for consumer brands. Beyond merely exercising one’s license to operate, leading brands of the future must move beyond operational imperatives and social add-on’s to establish the license to lead.”

Other key findings of the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study include:

Role of Government in Leading Social Purpose

While Singaporeans demand that businesses play an active role in supporting good causes, 6 in 10 still strongly believe that governments must play the lead role in addressing societal issues. This is also in line with global and regional statistics of 54% and 64% respectively.

Preferences for ‘Societally-Friendly’ Items

If costs were not a factor, Singaporeans would be inclined to purchase ‘societally-friendly’ items. If prices were not an issue, 84% of survey respondents say they would prefer to live in an environmentally-friendly home than a large home and 79% would rather drive a hybrid car than a luxury car.

In fact, 75% of Singaporeans already say they buy a brand that supports a good cause at least yearly.

The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study was launched at the first-year anniversary event of the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, National University of Singapore Business School.

About the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® study

The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® study is the firm’s fifth annual global consumer study that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to specific societal issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The survey was conducted by StrategyOne in January and February of 2012 and consisted of online interviews in 16 countries among 8,000 adults. Five-hundred respondents were surveyed in each of the following markets: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. The margin of error is +/-1.1% for the full Global sample; +/-1.4% for the Global tracking sample; and +/-4.4% for each country’s sample. For more information, visit www.purpose.edelman.com.

Source: Edelman

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