Successful CSR communication is about the right message, the right amount of information delivered through the right vehicle, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Most consumers prefer to learn about CSR through news media, a favoring likely due to the media’s third party reference point.
Interestingly, company websites and product packaging also play very important roles for consumers. Since both of these vehicles are “organization controlled” they are a vital part of any CSR strategy. Incorporating some mention of CSR in product packaging – packaging being highly influential at the point of purchase – can also be a very effective tool in affecting consumer behavior. Packaging also can be used to drive consumers to a web site, where they can find additional detailed CSR information. The web content should be designed to provide consumers as much (or as little) information as they want, and also link to other outside resources. This method of self discovery can provide consumers with a vehicle for their CSR reports, thereby providing both transparency and substantiation of environmental and social efforts.
LOHAS consumers, the portion of the population that is most interested in CSR efforts and makes the strongest correlation between purchase behavior and their personal beliefs, rely less on the news stories for corporate CSR communication. Due to their demanding nature, LOHAS consumers are more apt to trust third-party groups (67%), the company website (59%) and product packaging (49%).