Corporate social responsibility key to business success: survey



    Consumers are factoring in business practices when making brand choices

    TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Good corporate citizenship reflected by ethical
labour, environmental and social practices cannot be ignored by companies
looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive market, according to a
new survey conducted by TNS Canadian Facts.
    A key factor in the success of a business over the long term is the trust
that is built between the company and consumers. Businesses that breach that
trust can often suffer the consequences. In fact, about half of Canadians (49
per cent) say that they are very likely to refuse to buy a product from a
company based on hearing negative news about the organization.
    The TNS survey found that, among the factors that go into building trust,
a company's reputation is almost as important as other, more tangible product
and service characteristics, such as price, value and customer service.
    "Companies are increasingly going to be held accountable not only for the
quality and price of their products and services, but also for the corporate
citizenship and environmental stewardship of their business as a whole, as
these are key components of a company's reputation," said Richard Jenkins,
vice-president of TNS Canadian Facts and its corporate director of public
opinion research.
    The survey points to the emergence of a new consumer attitude around
corporate accountability and social responsibility that may transform the
market. This new consumer attitude is reflected in the way in which a core
group of consumers is making choices. For example, over the past six months,
one-third of Canadians say they have recommended a green product to someone
they know and 28 per cent have refused to purchase a product from a company
that they believe has a poor reputation.
    "While consumers are rarely willing to reward good corporate citizens by
paying a premium for their products and services, companies that practice
social responsibility and good corporate citizenship clearly offer a positive
point of differentiation in an increasingly fragmented market," added Jenkins.
    The TNS study called ethics: reporting on social responsibility in Canada
is part of a new public affairs series of online polls launched by TNS
Canadian Facts. The nationally representative Internet survey of 1,539 online
Canadians 18 years and older was conducted between June 5 and 16, 2008.
Respondents were randomly selected from the TNS Canadian Facts Internet access
panel comprising 100,000 Canadian consumers. The survey data were weighted to
reflect the demographic composition of the adult population.

    TNS Canadian Facts (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious
full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.

    About TNS

    TNS is a global market information and insight group.
    Its strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering
value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective
business decisions.
    TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network
of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides
high-quality information, analysis and insight that improve understanding of
consumer behaviour.
    TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services, combining
sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development &
Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail & Shopper
and Customer Intelligence. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media
intelligence and audience measurement services.

    TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).

    www.tnsglobal.com





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Richard W. Jenkins, Vice
President, Corporate Director, Public Opinion Research, Tel: (613) 230-4408
x101, e-mail: richard.jenkins@tns-global.com; David Stark, Vice President,
Public Affairs, Tel: (416) 924-5751 x238, e-mail: david.stark@tns-global.com;
www.tnsglobal.com

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