Tuesday 24 April 2018

Edelman’s 2012 goodpurpose® Study: The Reengineering of Brand Marketing, Purpose as a Purchase Trigger

For five years Edelman has run an annual global study that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose, including their commitment to social issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. For the first time we are excited to present data for Australia. To supplement the global goodpurpose® 2012 study, Edelman Australia has surveyed the views of the general population (sample size 1,000, General Population, Ages 18+).

Edelman’s goodpurpose survey reveals the power of Purpose in helping to drive consumer preference in a world where trust in corporations is low and differentiation between brands is negligible.

Since 2008, when quality and price of a product are deemed equal, social purpose has consistently been the leading purchase trigger for consumers around the world muscling design and innovation and brand loyalty aside.  More than half (53 percent) pegged social purpose as the most important factor in choosing one brand over another when quality and price are the same.  Over the years, the relevance of Purpose as a purchase factor has risen 26 percent globally.

Whilst Australia’s passion and action for Purpose lags behind other markets, this doesn’t suggest that it’s not on our agenda.  Australians are willing to buy and advocate on behalf of a purpose-led brand.  Here is what we found:

  • 58 percent of Australians would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause.
  • 68 percent of Australians say they are more likely to purchase a product knowing that a portion of the money would go to a good cause
  • 59 percent of Australians are more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t

Australian brands aligning themselves with an authentic purpose and cause are not only securing more consideration, but they are also earning their dollars and support. 36 percent of Australians say they buy brands that support a good cause at least monthly.

However, Aussie brands are not doing a great job in communicating their commitment to purpose. One in three Australians (28%) said they did not know if they had purchased a product that supported a good cause. If Australian companies can make consumers aware of their efforts to address societal issues, Australia’s purchase intent may climb closer to the global average. Currently, 84 percent of global consumers say they purchase a product that supports a good cause at least yearly. In Australia, it is only 57 percent.

What else is in the study?

The global study reveals that social purpose gets personal as people discover the “Me” in “We”. Edelman found that personal need trumps common good for Aussies.  Find out more about what issues matter most to Australians here.

The study also finds although Aussies are more focused on social issues that affect them personally, they are less likely to take action to support good causes. In fact, only 48 percent of Australians say they are personally involved in supporting a good cause, compared to 60 percent globally. Find out more here.

Globally, Edelman has seen that rapidly growing economies including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and the UAE have much higher consumer participation in social issues. Countries most impacted by the global financial crisis including the US, UK, France and Germany have seen declines in consumer engagement. View this infographic about how these “Purpose Bull Markets” are demonstrating their propensity for growth – in profit and Purpose.

View the full goodpurpose presentation here.

View the Australian press release here and the global executive summary here.


-Kate Ferguson, Director, Edelman’s Corporate Brand practice

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