Consumers Want to Support Companies That Support Refugees

Findings of new survey challenge the perception that anti-immigrant sentiments in the U.S. are on the rise.

Consumers Want to Support Companies That Support Refugees thumbU.S. consumers favor brands that support refugees, according to a new report from New York University Stern School of Business and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of 100 companies that support refugees in 34 countries.

An online survey of more than 7,000 consumers indicates that consumers want to support companies that hire refugees, deliver services to refugee communities, invest in refugee entrepreneurs, and source materials and services from refugee-owned businesses. This finding runs contrary to what appears to be an increase in antiimmigrant sentiment in the United States.

In fact, 48 percent of millennials are more likely to purchase products from companies that show a commitment to extending financial, educational, or other services to refugees—only 10 percent are less likely to do so. Similarly, 44 percent of millennials are more likely to purchase from companies that hire refugees, compared to 11 percent that are less likely to do so.

These findings indicate that businesses can view these efforts as more than just philanthropy, says Tülin Erdem, co-author of the report and chair of NYU Stern’s marketing department. A company’s support of refugees “impacts brand image and consumer brand purchase behavior positively,” says Erdem. The survey results are consistent with other research that shows an increasing number of consumers prefer socially responsible brands.

Download the report.

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