ACNielsen Finds Good Is Gold in China

December 18, 2006 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Viewpoints

By Richard Brubaker
For those who need third party evidence that a comprehensive corporate social responsibility program is good for a company in China, ACNielsen's Good as Gold reports are for you.

While almost everyone can agree that a strong community outreach program has an impact on the community, few have studied the effects of such a program internally to an organization, and even fewer have done so in China–but ACNielsen has done both.

Within its recently released report are a number of quantitative and qualitative points that stand out:

1. A strong CSR strategy will improve customer loyalty: More than 50% of people surveyed would choose a product and service from a company that supports a worthy cause if the price is the same.

2. More than 40% of employees are unsure of their loyalty to a company: Nearly 65% of people surveyed said yes when asked "I would feel greater job satisfaction if I was more involved in a charitable activity through my work". 53% of respondents said yes when asked "I would speak more positively about the company I work for if they supported a charity".

One of the stats that was most surprising was that 77% of persons interviewed wanted to be a part of a company's CSR program.

In integrating their CSR program, ACNielsen identified the following as steps to be taken:

  • Perform research to understand the needs of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Pick the right issue–a single issue–that is "important, timely, and leverages the company's core competencies".
  • Establish concrete goals and report progress.
  • Utilize the assets (soft and hard) of the company.
  • Engage others.

Corporate Social Responsibility is something that is beginning to gain a lot of attention in China. In the United States, companies have for years understood the value of CSR internally and externally. For some companies, it is the lure of good PR while others see CSR as part of their core values of sustainability.

Either way, the fact is that in China many of these companies have only begun to build their programs, and the interest in developing strong programs will only continue.

ACNielsen is among the only company to have completed such a study in China, and for companies looking to develop a CSR program in China, I highly suggest you read it in full.

About the author:
Rich Brubaker, as the managing Director of China Strategic Development Partners, assists foreign companies develop and implement their China based market entry and sourcing strategies, including CSR strategies. In addition to his responsibilities at China SDP, Rich founded the charitable organization Hands on Shanghai to promote volunteerism among young professionals in the Shanghai community. Rich has a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management and is the Vice Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai's Corporate Responsibility committee. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or his blog here.

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