Consumers Want Brands to Take Stands

Here’s a statement that ought to give any business pause: “Americans are willing to buy from or boycott companies based on corporate values.” That’s the header for the latest Cone Communications research, a study that concludes seven in ten Americans “believe companies have an obligation to take actions to improve issues that may not be relevant to everyday business operations” (italics mine). Historically, companies have been reluctant to take public stands on controversial issues for fear of offending customers and clients, but that attitude is changing. According to the Cone survey, consumers now expect companies to weigh in on today’s hottest issues, such as immigration, climate change, gun control, and LGBTQ rights. The bottom line? Eighty-seven percent buy a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. Looks like profit and purpose are converging.

John Howell, Editorial Director

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