Political Rancor in US Seems to Have Limited Effect on Shopping Decisions

Social responsibility considerations little changed

November 22, 2017

Political division in the US may be at an all-time high, but that doesn't seem to be driving more consumers to make purchasing decisions on a social or political basis.

Good.Must.Grow., a marketing consultancy focusing on social responsibility, found little change in internet users' attitudes and habits in its fifth annual "Conscious Consumer Spending Index." 

In 2017, 61% of respondents said it was important to buy from socially responsible companies, up a single percentage point from 2016, and 3 points below the 2015 level.  Meanwhile, the number who plan to spend more with socially responsible companies in the year ahead was down a point from year-ago levels.


Some 47% of Americans believe the world is becoming a worse place to live, the survey found, and those with a negative outlook were less likely to purchase products from socially responsible companies.

The study also found that consumers were more likely to use product packaging than any other source of information when it comes to determining whether or not a company is socially responsible.  Nearly one-third (32%) chose this method, compared with 27% who cited news reports, and the 15% who selected social media.

The Good.Must.Grow. study aligns with YouGov survey data from earlier this year, which found that 58% of US internet users said that brands' values had an impact on their purchasing decisions.