Why are so many companies not telling their CSR story to their customers? Image by Ben Heine

Why are so many companies not telling their CSR story to their customers? Image by Ben Heine

What if I told you that three out of four of your potential customers want to embrace companies that are socially responsible? Don’t believe me? How about that little P.R. shop, Burson-Marsteller? They just published their Second Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Perceptions Survey.

The survey tested consumer views of companies in 14 industries, and found that 75% are big believers in corporate social responsibility. Despite the recession, 70 percent are willing to pay more for a $100 product from a company they regard as responsible.

Companies Aren’t Effectively Telling Their CSR Stories

From the report: “Companies are not communicating their CSR efforts with consumers as effectively as they could. Only 13 percent of consumers report having read about a company’s social responsibility agenda on its website. If companies are have to better communicate their CSR efforts, they may have the opportunity to influence consumer perceptions seeing as 75 percent of consumers who have read about a company’s social responsibility agenda on its website indicated that it made them more likely to purchase products or services from that company.”

So which industries are doing well and which are not? Thumbs up goes to the Food, Consumer Goods and Retail industries, while Financial Services, Healthcare and Media are a resounding thumbs down.

Here are three companies that are doing a great job of telling their CSR stories by making their causes part of their business DNA. Essentially, they’re not just creating campaigns. They’re marshaling movements. And who benefits? Everyone!

  1. Adelante Healthcare and its “Sustainable Healthcare” model
  2. Frito-Lays and its “Sun Chips” product line
  3. Patagonia, as demonstrated through its “Footprint Chronicles”

Here’s the report: