Thursday, November 02, 2006

Survey Reveals that Ethical Aspirations Do Not Always Jibe with Reality

The majority of people would prefer to deal with ethical companies even if they charge higher prices, but given Americans’ passion for bargains is that really true in practice?

Hubert B. Herring’s article in The New York Times, “A Company’s Ethics Do Concern Shoppers (Or So They Say)” looks at a survey of 2,000 adults in December 2005 by Opinion Research for LRN a consulting firm for business ethics and governance. It revealed that 74% of participants said they would prefer to buy products from a company with ethical business practices and higher prices. About 18% said they would opt for products with cheaper prices from a company with questionable business practices.

Herring muses that the results reveal a basic tenet of human nature — that people would like to believe they are principled enough to avoid the lure of a cheap price tag.

If you appeal to people’s better nature and understand the market realities that drive consumer purchases, you will build a stronger business.

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