When it comes to buying goods and services, consumers in Asia Pacific are among the world’s most socially-conscious. More than three in five Asia Pacific consumers (64%) are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies who are committed to making positive social and environmental impact, higher than any other region globally and nine percentage points above the global average of 55 percent.
While propensity to buy socially and environmentally responsible brands is relative strong across all of Asia Pacific, it is particularly high in the region’s emerging markets of the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, where consumers are faced with extreme levels of poverty and frequently encounter the impact of natural and environmental disasters. Close to eight in 10 consumers in the Philippines (79%) are more willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies who are committed to making positive social and environmental impact, the highest globally, as are close to three quarters of consumers in Vietnam (73%), third-highest globally. A further 71 percent of consumers in Thailand are willing to pay extra for brands which are committed to social and environmental causes.
The value of social responsibility and giving back to society is an important part of the culture in many of these societies, and this is having an influence on their purchasing decisions. As more and more foreign companies enter these markets, consumers are looking for brands which are committed to supporting local communities, improving the state of the environment and making a difference. It is becoming increasingly critical for brands to both understand and address this rising demand.
Beyond merely expressing concern around social and environmental causes, Asia Pacific consumers are putting their wallets where their hearts are, and are adjusting their purchasing habits to support brands which are making a genuine effort. In the past six months, close to three in five consumers in the region (58%) purchased at least one product or service because it was manufactured by a company committed to positive social and environmental impact, compared to 52 percent globally.
With so many consumers looking for brands which are committed to making a difference, it has never been more critical for brands to be loud and clear about their social and environmental position. Many consumers are highly influenced and informed by packaging when it comes to recognising socially and environmentally conscious brands, and before deciding to purchase a brand 62 percent of Asia Pacific consumers check product packaging to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental impact, 10 percentage points higher than the global average of 52 percent. This trend was strongest in the Philippines where more than eight in 10 consumers (82%), the highest globally, check product packaging before making a purchase decision – 30 points higher than the global average.
Insights included in this article are based on the Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility which polled 30,000 consumers in 60 countries* to understand: how passionate consumers are about sustainable practices when it comes to purchase considerations; which consumer segments are most supportive of ecological or other socially responsible efforts; and which social issues/causes are attracting the most concern.