It matters very much – to 53% who are ‘Conscious Consumers’

How we see corporations is getting clearer …

Did you think twice before stopping at a BP gas station after the oil spill? Do you now have a new place to get a chicken sandwich since the anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A’s CEO (depending on your viewpoint this could be good or bad) ?

From a new study consumers care very much about the attitudes of the corporations they support with their dollars.

My prediction is that this “conscious consumption” will only grow more important in the decades ahead. And well it should, we work hard for our money and if we can feel better about how we spend it, then that is an effort worth making.

What is the social agenda of the company you represent? It matters to more than ½ of all global consumers and according to this new study from Edelman, that’s up from 24% just a few years ago.

Yet precious few corporations do a very good job of communicating their contributions to communities, charity causes, even their employee programs. Why not? Possibly because until now they were not aware of the financial advantage.

One terrific example:

– On a recent 60 Minutes show it was disclosed that nearly all the eyewear in the world comes from one company. The report pointed out one of the few independent exceptions which is Warby Parker eyewear. As I write this I am wearing Warby Parker glasses for computer users and not only love the glasses, I enjoyed doing business with them online.

My original introduction to them came from a magazine article about how Warby Parker gives back – as a recent Glamour magazine article put it “If you’re not already familiar with the brand, for every pair of totally chic frames they sell, Warby Parker donates a pair of prescription glasses to a child in need. Look good, do good!” Read More http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/slaves-to-fashion/2012/10/attention-hipsters-warby-parke

Here is information on how corporations benefit another way, from a recent Forbes piece:

“So what’s the benefit of getting your employees involved in your corporate fundraising efforts? Well, for starters it helps workers feel connected to the best part of your organization’s ethos – its corporate social responsibility values. All of which helps to improve employee engagement, a bottom-line benefit that can’t be underestimated. These days, employee disengagement is rampant, and when workers don’t feel that their company is inspiring them to do their best, productivity losses follow. In fact, the Corporate Leadership Council reports that companies which enjoy high engagement rates have 87 percent lower staff turnover rates and 20 percent better performance.”

When I began my career this position was called “Community Relations” and it was a coveted position to have. It does my heart good to see that all of us are not only paying attention to what corporations are doing for society, but how we are all starting to pay attention again, too.

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