NEW YORK and AMSTERDAM, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Representative research of the 16 highest-ranked countries in terms of GDP was conducted by Letsheal.org and verified by Prof. Dirk Salomons (Columbia University, NY). The study shows: 64% prefer brands that help consumers help others. Researchers related this to mankind's growing universal search for meaning. The study indicated only 16% are NOT searching.
Helping others makes life worthwhile
74% state that helping others makes their life meaningful. This has risen sharply in the last three years (37%), likely because of the financial crisis. 59% stated they like doing more for others beyond donating, but often lack the time, resources, energy and inspiration. The top three topics where people want to help are: 1) health, 2) the environment, 3) children's rights. In China, environmental issues holds first place.
Living a meaningful life important
85% consider a meaningful life important, seeing it as basic need. People with meaning are less depressed and have a more positive attitude.
Social media users nicer
In all countries, the same levels of empathy and prosocial, helpful behavior were found. Women were shown to be more empathic. Surprisingly, social media users are more prosocial in real life. They do more volunteer work, and are more likely to offer their seats or give directions.
Search for meaning = business
Prosocial Brands that help people to help others by using their marketing power to tackle societal issues are preferred over normal brands by a notable 64%, because of the meaning they give. 68% prefer to work for Prosocial Companies.
The 24,000 people in research warned wannabe Prosocial Companies not to see it as easy money. Social goals should be ambitious, transparent, the contribution significant and the business responsible. P&G's diapers brand Pampers, committed to ridding the world of tetanus by 2013, is seen as a good example.
Mark Woerde, research director: "The old credo, 'survival of the fittest' gives way to 'survival of the kindest'. What would happen to the world if fraction of the US $450 billion spent annually on advertising went into Prosocial Marketing?"
Countries of research (n=24,000): AU, BE, BR, CA, CH, DE, GB, ES, FR, JP, IN, IT, MX, NL, RU, US. Free research and interpretation can be downloaded: http://www.letsheal.org.