CSR poll: Consumers prefer brands that support their ideals

The oversize check to help the local Little League is no longer enough. To curry customers’ favor, companies must choose sides on sometimes divisive societal issues, a recent survey has found.

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CSR is no longer just a matter of collecting canned goods at Christmas or of employees’ volunteering at a soup kitchen or passing around a donations envelope following a natural disaster.

Not only do consumers expect the companies they patronize to have a social conscience, they’re expecting businesses to be at the vanguard in solving pressing societal problems.

For example, a just-released study from Cone Communications found that 63 percent of Americans hope that businesses—not individuals or government—will take the lead in driving social and environmental change.

That number is higher (at 71 percent) among millennials, who think businesses ought to drive change.

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