Voting With Their Wallets: New Research Finds Younger Americans, Liberals and West Coast Consumers Most Likely to Report Boycotting and 'Buycotting' Based on Values
WASHINGTON, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a national survey released today, one in three (33%) American adults report boycotting; and one in four (27%) report "buycotting," a product or service in the past 12 months because of the social or political values of the company that provides it.
The national telephone survey, which was conducted April 8-11, 2010 by StrategyOne, explores the social attitudes and behaviors of more than 1,000 American adults. The survey finds younger Americans, Liberals and West Coast consumers to be the most likely segments to consistently vote with their wallets by engaging in values-based consumption.
The survey asked whether or not respondents had, in the past 12 months, bought a certain product or service because they liked the social or political values of the company that provides it ("buycotting"). Conversely, respondents were also asked if they had decided NOT to buy a certain product or service because they disagreed with the social or political values of a company (boycotting). Similar research was conducted in January, 2010, by the Pew Research Center.(1)
Respondents also indicated which company or companies they had decided to buy, or NOT buy, products or services from as a result of their social or political values.
While there is a greater prevalence of boycotting than "buycotting" across all generations, younger Americans (age 18-34) are the most likely to do both. Forty percent of younger Americans surveyed said they had boycotted, and 36% had "buycotted" a product or service in the past 12 months based on social or political values. Older generations are significantly less likely to report boycotting and "buycotting;" age 35-44 (33% and 24% respectively), age 45- 54 (31% and 26%), age 55-64 (34% and 25%), and age 65+ (26% and 18%).
Age 45- 54
Party Affiliation, 2008 Vote and Ideology:
In comparing levels of politicized consumerism between Democrats and Republicans, the survey finds that while both parties are equally likely to boycott a service or product because of conflicting social or political values (35% and 34% respectively), there is a greater tendency for Democrats to report "buycotting" behaviors than Republicans (31% and 23%). The survey also finds that while liberals boycott and "buycott" at about the same level, conservatives are much more likely to boycott products or services than to "buycott" them. Interestingly, although liberals tend to "buycott" more than conservatives, very liberal and very conservative consumers tend to boycott at about the same level.
Consumers on the West Coast are the most likely to purchase, or NOT purchase, a service or product because of their social or political values. The survey finds that roughly one in three West Coast consumers have "buycotted" (33%) or boycotted (37%) a product or service in the past 12 months. Americans on the West Coast are the most likely to "buycott" a product or service; however, both Midwestern and West Coast consumers are most likely to boycott. Interestingly, a much larger percentage of Midwesterners have boycotted a product (39%) than "buycotted" one (26%). The least likely Americans to report either form of consumer activism are those in the North East, with only 22% "buycotting," and 23% boycotting in the past year.
In comparing consumer activism by education level, the survey finds that boycotting increases somewhat with education level, reaching 43% among college graduates. "Buycotting" does not appear to be linked to educational attainment.
High School Incomplete
High School Complete
Question text and data:
Here are some activities that some people do and others do not. For each, please tell me if you have done this in the past 12 months or not. In the PAST 12 MONTHS, have you...
A. Bought a certain product or service because you like the social or political values of the company that provides it
Yes, Did this
No, did not
B. Decided NOT to buy a certain product or service because you disagree with the social or political values of the company that provides it
Yes, Did this
No, did not
StrategyOne conducted 1,013 telephone interviews among a representative sample of Americans. The overall margin of sampling error is =+/-3.09%. Interviews were conducted between April 8 and 11, 2010. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics.
StrategyOne is a strategic research firm providing evidence-based stakeholder insights, analysis and media measurement. StrategyOne is owned by Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., the world's largest independent PR company, and specializes in multi-country reputation, branding and communications research with offices in New York, London, Paris, Washington DC, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Abu Dhabi and Atlanta. Contact us at 877-374-0813 or visit www.strategyone.net for more information.
(1) In a 2010 survey from the Pew Research Center, 35% of Millennials, 34% of Gen Xers, 36% of Boomers and 25% of Silents say they had boycotted a company in the past year. Thirty four percent of Millennials, 30% of Gen Xers, 27% of Boomers and 18% of Silents say they have buycotted a company in the past year. See the most recent Pew political values survey, conducted January 14-27, 2010, "Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change."