For more than 30 years, we have been helping organizations address social and environmental issues (Cause Branding) and change the way they operate for maximum business and societal benefit (Corporate Responsibility). Today, we see a convergence of these distinctive yet synergistic business strategies taking place. We call this intersection of business and society “Shared Responsibility,” and believe the future of sustainable business rests in this alignment – where companies will collaborate with their stakeholders to help address the social and environmental obstacles that stand in the way of greater business opportunity.
In light of this emerging perspective, we fielded research to explore how companies can take a “Shared Responsibility” approach and more effectively collaborate with consumers to help solve social and environmental issues. The Cone 2010 Shared Responsibility Study revealed that despite great opportunity, companies are not quite making the grade when it comes to engaging consumers. Key findings include:
- Eighty-four percent of Americans believe their ideas can help companies create products and services that are a win for consumers, business and society; yet, only half (53%) feel companies are effectively encouraging them to speak up on corporate social and environmental practices and products.
- Three-quarters (75%) of Americans give companies a “C” or below on how they’re engaging consumers around key issues.
- If a company incorporated their ideas, consumers say they would be more likely to buy its products and services (60%), more loyal (54%) and more likely to recommend the company (51%).
Issues today are far too complex and significant for any single entity to address on its own. Shared Responsibility requires the combined resources, ingenuity and sweat equity of business, government, NGOs and consumers. To explore how consumers want your organization to engage them on key issues, check out the full results of the study or read more about where we see Shared Responsibility playing a role.