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DEONTOLOGY

Where operations meet ethics.

1 December 2014

Companies’ social commitment is rewarded by consumers

Two thirds of Italians choose to buy brands that are committed to good causes.

Market surveys consistently show that social commitment by companies is rewarded by customers. It has been shown that to be market leader or even simply to maintain competitiveness, companies must communicate a clear image company ethics, with a particular focus on sustainability.
Not even the crisis seems to have affected this tendency; on the contrary, it has made it more marked, changing the path of industries and transforming Italian company culture. Sustainability has become more of an ethical priority than an economic necessity. Energy saving, the use of renewable resources, waste reduction, the development of environmentally friendly products, and reduced packaging have become issues that cannot be ignored.
A survey by Centromarca has shown that “the social commitment of large Italian companies has become a crucial selection criterion for Italian consumers. Where price and quality are the same, consumers consistently choose products from companies with social commitments, at a rate of 10% above the European average. Commitment to social causes therefore provides added value which is sought by the consumer to such an extent that social responsibility must become an integral part of all brands’ business strategy.”
Centromarca’s survey shows that if a brand supports a good cause, two Italians out of three will choose it over a comparable brand which does not have a social commitment. For many consumers, quality comes second to honesty and transparency.
Company ethics are therefore a pole star for all brands, and are rewriting the rules of the game, bringing about a new awareness of the social role of companies. Business can no longer limit itself to simple philanthropy but must develop greater sensitivity to the inputs of the market, which have high standards regarding the environment, ethics and social commitment.

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