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2010: Brazilian Consumers Value Brands that Are Engaged in Causes

The Brazilian consumer has become a more conscious one, an agent who is aware of the causes supported by brands, and one of the most involved in the whole world. According to the results presented by the Edelman goodpurpose® Study 2010, the public in the largest country in Latin America is highly predisposed to value, recommend, and give their loyalty to brands involved in conscious purposes.

This scenario points out, at first, two major trends: it indicates that the Brazilian consumption market has matured; it also opens a space where organizations can invest in causes supported by a long-term business plan, justifying the actions developed with a communicative language that involves the public.

More brands have adopted good causes between 2007 and 2010, and despite some suspicion of motive, consumers’ support of those relationships has increased.  While brands take part in socially responsible actions has increased from 46% to 64% during this period, the belief that most brands are not active at all decreased from 51% to 32%.  Such data reinforces the notion that there is a great opportunity to be involved in diverse causes now; involvement in social purpose also creates an increased public trust in the company or brand.  The brands that follow this path have already earned a positive image from their stakeholders: see the example set by Natura, Omo, Petrobras, Ypê, Nestle, and Coca-Cola.

When compared to the rest of the world, Brazilian consumers have severely increased their level of involvement with causes. Sixty-four percent of the population consider themselves to be more engaged with good causes, in comparison to the 34% of consumers globally.  Brazilian consumers also believe they are more conscious about companies that are genuinely involved in socially responsible issues in addition to financial results.

Although the global population believes in the power corporations have over such causes, Brazilians show they are much more predisposed to trust, promote, and buy products from organizations whose practices and actions are based on concrete principles and values. In relation to the economic sectors, companies from the Communications, Health, Energy, Technology and Biotechnology are believed to be more involved, while globally, the most prominent sectors are only Communications, Health, Food and Beverage.

In Brazil, business-to-business companies are still a strong presence in building a positive notion related to causes.  Among the most mentioned purposes, environmental sustainability is one of the main topics: 81% of interviewees believe that the joint work between companies and the government is fundamental to approach such issue. Because it is such a vital topic for the development of the country, there is a great predisposition to support the creation of environmental public policies with a strong participation from the civil society and the corporate sector.

Brazilians increasingly believe in their condition as transformational agents. In comparison to the survey from 2009, the public’s trust in governmental institutions decreased from 62 percent to 52%. In the opposite direction – going from 1 to 11% – there was an increase on consumers’ trust in “people like me” and their belief in themselves as supporters of good causes. However, the personal action is not considered as being incompatible with the brands’ attitudes. Collaborative relationships between companies and their publics are within the reach of business today.

According to the survey, 84% of Brazilians believe that brands and consumers can achieve more together than if they acted separately. The involvement with purposes is also shown as being important for the business, whether it is to attract new talents, investors or even new consumers.  Brazilian national market rates brands and companies support of a good cause as an essential factor when selecting between equivalently priced products.

The importance of a product’s quality has decreased in importance for the Brazilian consumer since 2007 (61% against 38% in 2010).  Today, the decision is based both on the brand’s social purpose (19%) and a consequent sense of loyalty (15%).  This requires business to maintain consistent communication actions

In the survey, 82% of consumers believed that the brands should promote their actions related to causes to increase the level of public knowledge of such initiatives.  Acting before speaking is fundamental. And, more than that, it is crucial to act: 87% of consumers expect brands to be engaged with good causes.  Social purpose is an effective way for companies to engage with Brazilian consumers.


Yacoff Sarkovas
Published in Edelman website, in October, 2010.