In Insight, Marketing, Trend

Strategic marketing company Good.Must.Grow is part of the revolution to drive societal change by supporting socially responsible businesses, nonprofit causes, and organizations. Their Conscious Consumer Spending Index (#CCSIndex) is a benchmarking study of the “do good” revolution tracking trends in charitable giving, conscious consumerism, and  the importance consumers are placing on purchasing consciously as well as their future intent. Last year, politics, violence, and cost created a drag on social responsibility, according to the sixth annual survey of 1,015 Americans.

“This year’s findings are a mix of new highs and all-time lows, so it’s obviously not all good news,” said Heath Shackleford, founder of Good.Must.Grow. “On a positive note, the majority of Americans still identify as being conscious consumers and are rewarding mission-driven organizations. But from a trending perspective, we are seeing a mild dip in socially responsible behaviors. We need to take that seriously and respond accordingly.”

Is the world getting worse? 

  • 22% believed the state of the world was improving. That was up from 16% in 2017, but still represented a significant minority of Americans. This impacts the #CCSIndex score because those with a negative or neutral outlook on the state of the world are less likely to purchase products from “do good” companies, less likely to donate time and money to nonprofits, and less likely to report being green.
  • When asked why they thought the world was getting better or worse: current state of the economy (52%) as the main reason circumstances were improving. Those who thought the world was in worse shape cited the political environment (75%) and crime/violence (75%) as the main drivers of their negative feelings.

The price is not right

  • For the first time in #CCSIndex history, price sensitivity was the top obstacle for “do good” shopping behaviors.
  • 44% of Americans said socially responsible products and services cost too much.
  • For the first five years, a lack of knowledge about where to find socially responsible goods was the biggest deterrent.

A loss of confidence

  •  67% of consumers said that individuals are effective at making positive changes in society. This is down from 72% in previous years and marks the first decline since the inception of the index.
  • Confidence in nonprofits and social enterprises has been dipping, while opinions have held steady regarding major corporations.
  • Belief in the government’s ability to drive change has fluctuated between lows of 36% (2014) and highs of 43% (2016 and 2018).

Good Company Poll: What company or organization do you think of first when you think of socially responsible companies/organizations?”

  1. Walmart
  2. Amazon / Whole Foods
  3. Goodwill
  4. Salvation Army
  5. American Red Cross
  6. Starbucks
  7. Apple
  8. Google
  9. Microsoft
  10. Facebook
  11. TOMS
  12. Target
  13. Ben & Jerry’s
  14. St. Jude
  15. Patagonia
  16. Trader Joe’s
  17. Honest Company
  18. Tesla
  19. Hobby Lobby
  20. Wegman’s

Download the full infographic of the survey.

Photo: Jean Wimmerlin via Unsplash

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