Cone CR Study: 93 Percent of Consumers Will Boycott for Corporate ‘Irresponsibility’

This week, Cone released the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study with findings showing that consumers are just as likely as ever to hold companies accountable for corporate social responsibility.

Among the findings, 93 percent of respondents said they would boycott a company for acting irresponsibly. And more than half (56 percent) said they have in the past year.

Cone and Echo Research surveyed 10,024 adults (split almost evenly between men and women) online across 10 countries: the BRIC nations, Japan, the U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada, and France.

Results of the survey also show that 93 percent of respondents feel companies need to go beyond legal compliance in order to be socially responsible; 93 percent would buy a product associated with a cause; and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) said they have done so in the past 12 months. Among those issues that respondents felt were most important were economic development and the environment (both 96 percent), water (95 percent), and poverty and hunger (87 percent).

Most interesting and perhaps something that should give marketers and brands pause — only 32 percent, less than a third, said they have given their feedback about a company’s CSR efforts directly to the company. So customers aren’t telling when they’re unhappy with a company, and possibly taking their business elsewhere because of a lack of a company’s CR efforts. So just because you don’t hear customers grumbling doesn’t mean they’re not unhappy.