Cause marketing is on the upswing in the US, with 88% of consumers considering it to be acceptable, reported eMarketer.

According to the ‘2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study’, more than two in five consumers bought a product in the past year that was associated with a social or environmental cause. The research pointed to a 6% increase in consumers buying a cause-related product – from 75% in 2008 to 81% in 2010.

78% felt that linking a product to a cause may actually lead to a change in their behaviour, with 72% of those interviewed indicating that the marketing would make them ‘advocate for a cause’.

Mothers and Gen Y took to cause marketing most strongly, admitting to a high chance of switching to brands related to a cause and even paying more for a cause-related product. Cause marketing also influenced feelings about what products and services consumers would recommend, where they shop and work and which companies would be welcome in their community.

“Cause branding is a prime opportunity for companies to extend beyond their traditional market and increase exposure to potential new consumers,” said Alison DaSilva, executive vice president at Cone (the company responsible for the research).