Which causes remain key to Canadians?

New Ipsos data suggests shoppers are keeping an eye on charitable deeds throughout their relationship with a brand.

McDonald-s Canada-McHappy Day-- Serving Up Smiles across Canada

Pictured: A mom and daughter at a McDonald’s Canad/Ronald McDonald House Charities event earlier this year, ahead of McHappy Day.

A new survey from Ipsos tracks the increasing value Canadian consumers place on the causes a brand supports, showing that it does inform the beginning of the purchase cycle – and lasts throughout their relationship with a brand.

Results from the survey of 1,071 Canadians (conducted online Aug. 28 to Sept. 8 among adults 18 and older) showed 50% of respondents were “very interested” in the causes supported by companies, up from 46% in 2016. An increased number – 48%, up from 44% – said they were loyal to cause-affiliated brands, and 41% said they are continually aware of which causes companies support, up from 35% last year.

Among the causes Canadians cite as important to them, two are decidedly on the rise. Poverty was listed as a priority among 64% of respondents, up from 60% of those in 2016. The environment is also increasing in importance at 59%, up from 55% last year.

When asked to identify the brands they felt were actively taking part in charitable activities, Canadian Tire was mentioned the most by respondents at 13%. Tim Hortons fell second at 12% and McDonald’s ranked third at 7%.

But interestingly, when asked to name a charitable campaign run by a brand, Tim Hortons’ Camp Day ranked first with 36% recall and McDonald’s McHappy Day fell second at 27%. Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program came third at 17%. Bell’s Let’s Talk Day and the CIBC Run For The Cure rounded out the five most-recalled programs at 15% and 10%, respectively.

“We’ve conducted this study for four years now, and this year was unique,” Jessica Avery, VP, Canada at Ipsos Marketing, said in a release. She noted the relatively high number of survey respondents who indicated that felt the world’s prospects were in decline (49%) or believe Canada itself is “on the wrong track” (52%).

“We’ve seen more significant changes in the past 12 months than any other time,” she said. “Times are changing when it comes to doing well by doing good, and the companies that respond to these changes will see the benefit.”