Saving Grace

Do The Right Thing

Is virtue its own reward? A survey of 1,037 consumers conducted by research firm Walker Information in Indianapolis suggests that a company's reputation plays a significant role in consumer decisions. The survey showed:

47 percent of consumers indicated they would be much more likely to buy from a socially responsible, "good' company if quality, service and price were equal.

57 percent of consumers said they would be much less likely to buy from a company with questionable business practices.

70 percent of consumers would not buy--no matter what the discount--from a company that is not socially responsible.

Although the survey suggests that good business character has a payoff, the stronger message appears to be that poor business citizens are paying a price. If your company's reputation isn't as sparkling as it should be, now's the time to clean up your act.

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This article was originally published in the August 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Saving Grace.

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