A recent study conducted by Nielsen shows that while customers may complain about increasing costs of goods, they are willing to pay more for the goods and services that are offered by companies considered socially responsible. When a company has a demonstrated reputation for environmental concern, engaging in philanthropic activities, or treating its employees in a fair and ethical manner, the research found that fifty percent of the customers surveyed indicated that they are willing to pay higher prices, an increase of five percent over last year.

The research showed that consumers across every demographic were willing to do this, with the highest percentage being among those who are thirty and younger. However, they were not the sole advocates of this practice as fifty percent of those aged 40 to 44 were also willing to pay more for products from these companies. Because of this trend, companies are beginning to respond and build marketing campaigns centered on their reputation in this area.

According to the vice-president of social responsibility at Nielsen, Nic Covey, “While cause-marketing programs seem to resonate most strongly among younger respondents, the rapid change in sentiment among middle-aged consumers expands the cause opportunity for brands…[to]focus purpose messaging on both younger and older customers.”


Mielach, David. “Consumers Willing to Pay More to Socially Responsible Firms,” BusinessNewsDaily, August, 2013.

Nielsen: 50% of Global Consumers Willing to Pay More for Goods, Services from Socially Responsible Companies, Up from 2011. August 6, 2013.