THIS WEEK: Charity begins with shopping

Companies are seriously out of touch with consumer attitudes towards cause-related marketing and underestimate the ability of charity link- ups to increase sales.

Companies are seriously out of touch with consumer attitudes towards

cause-related marketing and underestimate the ability of charity link-

ups to increase sales.

This is the conclusion of the UK’s largest survey on cause-related

marketing, conducted for Business in the Community by Research


A survey of 1000 consumers found preferences for goods and services that

give something back to the community. Assuming that price and quality

are the same, 86% are more likely to buy a product associated with a

good cause, while 73% said they would switch brands and 61% would change

retail outlets for the same reason.

But, according to a parallel poll of 450 companies, just 21% of chief

executives said CRM can increase sales. However, consumers say they

would pay up to 5% more for a CRM product and 10% more if it benefited a

cause they particularly care about.

Corporate misunderstanding of consumer preferences is underlined by the

fact that companies see arts sponsorship as the second most important

contribution. Consumers put it at the bottom of their list, preferring

corporate involvement in education.

Dominic Cadbury, chairman of Cadbury Schweppes, said CRM is ‘an untapped



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