Citizens in UAE AND OTHER Emerging Markets Outpace the US and Europe as Most Engaged in Social Good
In the UAE, social purpose, after quality, outranks price as the number one deciding factor between two brands, 2010 Edelman goodpurpose Study Finds
November 7, 2010, ABU DHABI – Consumers in the United Arab Emirates are more likely to purchase and promote brands that support good causes, trending similar to other emerging markets and outpacing peers in Western Europe, according to the fourth annual Edelman goodpurpose® study. More than seventy percent (71%) of those surveyed in the UAE would promote a brand’s products and services, provided there was a good cause behind them. This closely follows an average of 77 percent among Brazil, India, Mexico and China and contrasts to an average of 49 percent in major Western European economies.
Consumers here donate money and time to good causes, and they are willing to buy brands that support good causes. In the UAE, 86 percent of consumers donate money for a good cause at least annually, topping the list of 13 countries surveyed. In addition, 72 percent of respondents volunteer for a good cause and more than three quarters of UAE consumers buy brands that support a good cause at least every twelve months – closely following rates in other emerging markets. The UAE was incorporated into the study for the first time.
“Given the deep sense of community in the UAE, it’s not surprising that we see a high level of consumer interest in and action around brands that support social causes,” said Iain Twine, general manager, Edelman UAE. “This goes beyond donating, the UAE consumer is sophisticated and wants to see brands aligned with a good cause. Unique to this market, social purpose outranks price as the number one deciding factor between two brands, after quality, which means aligning with a social cause is no longer optional for brands to thrive in an increasingly competitive space.”
While consumers in emerging markets now outrank their peers on several measures of commitment to social purpose, citizens around the world maintain a high level of interest and engagement in cause. For the fourth year running, in all European and North American countries surveyed, purpose is more important than design/innovation or brand loyalty as a purchase trigger when quality and price are the same. Despite the prolonged recession, two-thirds (66 percent) of global consumers report that they are likely to buy and recommend products and services from companies that support a good cause.
As consumer involvement rises, their expectation of brands and companies remains high. Eighty-six percent of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on those of business. Two-thirds of global respondents expect brands to do something to support a good cause; that number is significantly lower to the seventy three percent in the UAE.
While consumers expect that companies show a commitment to good causes, they are also willing to punish those that do not. More than one-third of consumers globally would punish a company that doesn’t actively support a good cause, by criticizing it to others (37 percent), refusing to buy it (37 percent), or sharing negative opinions and experiences (38 percent). In the UAE, sixty-eight percent of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause.
Additional Key Global Findings* Include:
· Sixty-nine percent of consumers globally believe corporations are in a uniquely powerful position to make a positive impact on good causes—as high as 80 percent in the U.S. and 82 percent in Mexico.
· Nearly two-thirds of global respondents (64 percent) believe it is no longer enough for corporations to give money; they must integrate good causes into their everyday business
· Seventy percent of global consumers say that a company with fair prices that gives back is more likely to get their business than a company that offers deep discounts and doesn’t give back.
· Globally, food and beverage tops the list of industries considered the most involved in good causes, virtually tied with media and healthcare providers.
· “Protecting the environment” ranks as the no. 1 cause that global consumers care about, followed by “improving the quality of healthcare”.
· Globally, 71 percent of consumers believe that projects that protect and sustain the environment can help grow the economy—with even higher numbers for China, Mexico, India, Brazil, and the U.S (87, 81, 81, 79, and 75 percent, respectively).
*UAE not included in global total data.
About the Edelman goodpurpose Study
The 2010 GoodPurpose study is the firm’s 4th annual global consumer study that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to specific social issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The survey was conducted by the StrategyOne and consisted of 20-minute interviews in 13 countries among 7,259 adults. Online interviews were conducted in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, UAE, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in China and India. The study is representative of the country population, except in UAE. UAE is representative of the online population. For more information, visit www.goodpurposecommunity.com.
Edelman is the world’s largest independent public relations firm, with wholly-owned offices in 53 cities and 3,400 employees worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade and one of its 2010 Best Places to Work; Adweek’s “2009 Agency of the Year”; PRWeek’s “2009 Agency of the Year” and “UK Consultancy of the Year”; and Holmes Report’s “Agency of the Decade,” “2009 Best Large Agency to Work For” and “2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year.” Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), RUTH (creative expression), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment). Visit www.edelman.com for more information.
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