Companies need to be making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) a priority and fast. A research study by the strategic planning and consumer insights division of AMP Agency shows that 61% of Gen Y feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. The results are eye-opening and socially and environmentally responsible businesses are positioned to reap rewards:

  • 83% will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible.
  • 74% are more likely to pay attention to a company’s marketing when they see that the company has a deep commitment to a cause.
  • 89% are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to another (price and quality being equal) if the second brand is associated with a good cause.
  • 79% want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.
  • 64% say their company’s social/environmental activities make them feel loyal to that company.
  • 56% would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation

The pendulum appears to be swinging back, in the 80’s CSR was big and many companies leveraged this from a marketing perspective. But in the last decade CSR took a back seat to downsizing, rightsizing, operational efficiencies and bottom line profits.

The study recommends that companies start paying attention to CSR again. They need to re-invent the CSR process and support they provide by actively providing hands-on cause-related experiences and then clearly and consistently share related societal impacts. This engagement and communication will create a generation of brand ambassador.

Companies should align their brand with a cause that is relevant, authentic, sustainable and engaging, as well as one that is true to the core brand identity. Most importantly, companies cannot be afraid to communicate their cause commitments with honesty and sincerity. Gen Y want to know how their support of a specific brand or product is actually making a difference. Baby Boomers invented CSR, and if the Gen Y or as they are sometimes know, echo-boomers, have anything to do about it CSR will be back on the corporate boardroom priority list. And one gets the sense that Gen Y will make it stay there.

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