Social Issues Find Resonance with Indian Consumers

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While India remains one of the fastest-growing consumption markets in the world after China, consumers are increasingly paying heed to products that connect with social issues in some way.

MUMBAI: A study by communications specialist Edelman shows 78 per cent of consumers surveyed admit they purchase brands on a monthly basis that have a social purpose. The global average is only 63 per cent in contrast. This is not all. The growth in the number of consumers in the last two years, who are willing to link social purpose as a purchase trigger is 43 per cent. This is higher than Germany’s, where the growth is 36 per cent while China’s is higher at 79 per cent. Japan tops the list with almost 100 per cent growth.

The study titled Good Purpose was conducted online earlier this year in 16 markets, involving 8,000 respondents. Besides India, the markets included the US, the UK, Brazil, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, China, Japan, UAE, Italy, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Ben Boyd, global chair, corporate practice, Edelman, who is in India to release the findings, said the degree of personal involvement of Indians towards a social cause is higher than their global peers. It stands at 78 per cent to the global average of 60 per cent.

“Indian consumers are also aware of brands or companies that place as much or more importance on supporting a good cause,” he said. “It stands at 58 per cent for India versus 31 per cent for markets abroad.”

Almost 93 per cent of Indians surveyed are also concerned about environmental protection in comparison to 87 per cent abroad. Also, issue such as poverty alleviation, prevention of domestic violence & abuse and improving the quality of healthcare in the country finds resonance with Indians consumers, Boyd said.

So what does all of this mean for India Inc?

Boyd indicated increasingly companies operating in the domestic market will have to integrate the support of good causes into their business plans and strategies. “The new norm is about a shared purpose or value, not an offset method where you set-up a school or a hospital because you are taking away from the environment or society in the course of your business. That was the old way of doing things. Not anymore,” he said.

(Business Standard)

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