Spotlight On CSR: Millennials More Prone To Punish Brands For Scandals

There has been no shortage of scandals and attendant negative press surrounding major corporations within the past year. However, despite the number of companies that have come under fire, a recent survey finds that only 28% of U.S. adults have stopped using a brand because of something negative they learned about in the news. The results suggest that regaining all of those customers isn’t easy.

Among that 28%, the brands that suffered the most were: Wells Fargo, Target, Papa John’s, Uber, FedEx, Nike, Walmart, the NFL and Chick-Fil-A. Millennials were the most likely to abandon a brand due to bad practices or press, while only 21% of those ages 65+ report doing so.

While most respondents didn’t report a change in brand usage, 68% expressed the importance of having shared values among companies from which they purchase. More than two-thirds (69%) also report that they are willing to pay a premium for a product or service that they feel is more ethical than a cheaper option. The younger demographic was again the most likely to be willing to pay more, while more than half of those 65+ also state they would be willing to pay a premium.



The majority of respondents have never researched the ethical standards of a company before making a purchase. Of the 35% who have, the product categories they were most likely to research were:  groceries (48%), personal care/cosmetics (46%), and household goods (41%).

The sample consisted of 1,000 adults nationally balanced by age, gender and region surveyed by kNOW, an on-demand product from global survey provider Critical Mix.

Among the consumers who changed their behavior due to negative press, only 30% report that a company had been able to win their business back. Brands that saw the greatest level of forgiveness among survey respondents were: Wells Fargo, Walmart, Uber, Nike, and the NFL. Forty-one percent of those between the ages of 25 and 34 say that a company was able to win them back, making them the most-forgiving age group.

Disgruntled customers respond the most to actionable efforts made by the company in question. Fully one-third were influenced by company changes that clearly addressed their sentiments. Tied for second were sincere statements made by the company to address their customers and creating a better system for receiving and responding to customer feedback (both at 23%). Online ambassadors for a company had the least effect, with only 8% citing them as a factor for giving a brand another chance.

Go here for a visual look at the stats.

1 comment about "Spotlight On CSR: Millennials More Prone To Punish Brands For Scandals".
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  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, March 20, 2018 at 11 a.m.

    When the tribe speaks, people listen.  More here...

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