Poll findings indicate that most consumers in India would stop buying products and services from organisations that do not adhere to their own stated purposes.
A poll by the British Standards Institute (BSI), of 2,000 consumers in India, found 83% would consider a company’s purpose when making a purchasing decision. The research was conducted last summer before the BSI published PAS 808:2022 – Purpose-driven organisations: Worldviews, principles and behaviours.
According to the poll, 77% of consumers aged 18 to 24 in India actively reflect on corporate purpose when making buying decisions and 78% say that they will abandon products or organisations acting inconsistently with a stated purpose. The findings also revealed 92% of all Indian consumers are prepared to pay more if an organisation keeps to its corporate purpose.
“[Companies] ... need to be clear about their purpose and what they stand for, and ensure they embed this in decision-making so that they don’t fall short of their commitments.”
Speaking to the CQI, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), said: “There is growing awareness from consumers about climate change, impacts on biodiversity, labour standards and human rights, and this is translating into purchasing preferences.”
Despite this trend towards responsible purchasing, only 49% of 350 Indian business leaders surveyed agree that a lack of purpose is harmful to a business. Moreover, while 86% of organisations, have a stated written corporate purpose, 73% do not audit or measure the delivery of their stated purpose through an unbiased third-party institute.
Interestingly, however, 95% of organisations consider the purpose of another organisation before choosing to work with it. Mukherjee advised: “For companies to be successful in the future, they will need to be clear about their purpose and what they stand for, and ensure they embed this in decision-making so that they don’t fall short of their commitments.”
According to the BSI research, more than half of Indian consumers believe that it would be very helpful if there was a standard that helped evaluate and measure whether a brand was keeping to its purpose. PAS 808:2022 is the first standard globally to offer guidance to governing bodies and executives on what corporate purpose is, and how purpose-driven organisations (PDOs) behave and make decisions. It assists organisations in building strategies and plans to enact and entrench company purpose into every aspect of the company.
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