When Ben & Jerry’s posted a Twitter series taking a stand against the storming of the US Capitol, they probably didn’t expect the response they got. Hundreds of thousands of shares and Retweets later, they cemented loyalty from huge amounts of buyers, many of which proclaimed they would only ever buy from Ben & Jerry’s in the future.
This is a prime example of cause marketing in action. The term essentially refers to brands that promote their values and missions that align with societal issues. Instead of simply pushing polished images and focusing on insular marketing campaigns, cause marketing sees brands promoting good causes and sustainable efforts – or, at the very least, clearly shouting about what they believe in.
It’s no secret that consumers are more tuned into social and environmental issues than ever before. Global warming has touched everyone, and sustainable causes are becoming increasingly common across the globe.
But, while cause marketing has been steadily growing over the past few years, the pandemic accelerated it to unprecedented levels. Brands suddenly had to show understanding and care for their customers, many of whom were struggling with family deaths and job losses. And, brands that were able to show compassion in their marketing campaigns managed to secure the loyalty of consumers in a truly turbulent time.
However, cause marketing goes one step further than simply stating your values and beliefs. It requires you to put your money where your mouth is and actually take action. To help you out, we’ve collected some of the most powerful cause marketing statistics that will open your eyes to just how important this strategy is.
72% of US shoppers admit it’s more important than ever for the companies they buy from to have the same values as them. On top of this, 76% say supporting companies that are actively addressing global issues helps them feel like they are doing their part. (Source).
86% of consumers are likely to purchase from purpose-driven companies – even better if those companies have the same beliefs and values as them. (Source).
Consumers have a lot of admiration for cause-driven brands that continued to promote their values throughout the pandemic. In fact, 53% believe purpose-driven companies have fared better throughout Covid-19. (Source).
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers expect more from brands. 70% think that companies will be forced to act more responsibly now. (Source).
60% of consumers believe that we’ll start to see real change when brands begin to address social justice issues. Even more (62%) believe cause marketing will help normalize social justice conversations. (Source).
Standing up for what you believe in helps brands stand out. 89% of executives say companies that lead with purpose have a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. (Source).
Consumers are relying on brands to lead the change on important societal issues. 76% believe that CEOs should take responsibility rather than waiting for the government to impose change. (Source).
73% of consumers believe that brands can take action and promote messages that both increase their profits and improve social conditions at the same time. (Source).
Passivity doesn’t cut it with consumers when it comes to important matters. 66% think brands should absolutely take a stand on social and political issues. (Source).
The BLM protests saw many brands addressing a social issue for the first time which impacted the way consumers saw them. In fact, 74% of people said the way companies conducted themselves during the protests impacted whether they would do business with them in the future. (Source).
62% of consumers actively want brands to take a stand on issues they’re passionate about, while 64% find brands that actively communicate their purpose more attractive. (Source).
78% of consumers think it’s crucial that brands do more than just make money. They should also have a positive impact on society. (Source).
Cause marketing shouldn’t be implemented as another tactic to attract customers and pretend to “do good”. Consumers are savvier than ever, and 56% think that too many brands are using social issues as a marketing ploy. (Source).
It’s not enough to sell high-quality products and services anymore. 66% of consumers will still leave a company (and not return) if it does something wrong or offensive, even if they initially loved the brand. (Source).
Making mistakes is common and consumers won’t completely turn their back on brands that slip up – but only if they respond in the right way. 88% of consumers are more willing to forgive a brand if it genuinely tries to change, while 73% say they are less likely to cancel a company if it’s purpose-driven. (Source).
Trust is key for brands today. And, when consumers think a brand has a strong purpose, they are 4.1 times more likely to trust it. (Source).
Consumers have no hesitations when it comes to stopping buying products from untrustworthy brands. One-third will stop buying if they lost trust, and one-third have already stopped purchasing from their long-time favorite brands in 2019. (Source).
86% of consumers think brands should take a stand on social issues, with 64% saying they are very likely to make a purchase based on that commitment. (Source).
One-third of consumers plan to increase the amount they spend on what they consider “for-good” products and services, but 40% are unable to name a socially responsible organization. (Source).
Conscious consumers are on the hunt for products that make their lives easier and that have a positive impact on the environment. 84% prefer brands with products that simplify their lives, while 78% prefer brands that offer clean products. (Source).
Consumers are increasingly seeking out brands that focus on health and wellbeing – even more so since the pandemic. In fact, 77% prefer to shop with brands that sell products with health and wellness benefits. (Source)
Sustainability is crucial for consumers today, and brands that align with this will generate more custom. 77% of shoppers prefer to buy from brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible. (Source).
An increasing number of consumers place heavy emphasis on the ingredients used in products, and 72% prefer to buy from brands that use organic ingredients. (Source).
People between the ages of 18 and 24 are three times less likely than other generations to want to give their time or money right now. (Source).
The vast majority of millennials seek out brands that have the same values as them – 83% say it’s very important that brands align with their beliefs before they commit to making a purchase. (Source).
A whopping 90% of Gen Z believe companies must act to help social and environmental issues and 75% will actively conduct research to find out if a brand is being honest about where it stands on certain issues. (Source).
71% of millennials said they would happily pay more for a product if some of the proceeds go to charity. (Source).
76% of millennials and Gen Z consumers have purchased or would consider purchasing from a brand to show their support for a specific issue. (Source).
Millennials and Gen Z consumers have no qualms about leaving a brand that doesn’t support the issues they feel strongly about. 67% have stopped purchasing or would consider doing so if the brand stood for something that didn’t align with their values. (Source).
35% of consumers who follow digital influencers were engaged with a cause due to a recommendation from an influencer. (Source).
The younger generation actively wants to buy from sustainable brands. In fact, 64% of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly product. (Source).
The main takeaway from these statistics is that cause marketing isn’t a performative strategy that aims to attract new shoppers without substance. Instead, it’s an integral part of who your brand is and what you stand for. When you’re able to voice your beliefs and values, you’ll start to make an impact and connect with customers that truly align with your mission.