There’s a new study out from OnBuy.com and YouGov looking into how issues, social and political affiliations affect people’s consumption decisions.

Among the conclusions:

• “Brands’ affiliation or endorsement of a politician/party/movement was the biggest reason as to why consumers boycotted a brand at 51%.”

• “A product(s) with negative consequences on consumer health as well as racism in a company’s culture/practices were the joint second most cited reasons at 44% each.”

• “Unfair practices related to market dominance was the lowest-ranking factor which contributed to consumers boycotting a brand at just 24%.”

• “‘Harm to the environment’ influenced 42% of consumers decision to boycott a brand. Closely followed by faulty product/products recall, cover ups and corruption – all at 41%.”

However, the study also notes that according to Edelman, only “17% of American consumers would alter their buying behavior depending on a brand’s position concerning certain issues.”

KC's View: It is a reality that social media makes it possible for consumers to know more than ever about the positions being taken by the companies with which they do business, and so these businesses have to be careful about the affiliations they make and the values they espouse, even if indirectly. They have to be vigilant, especially because it is possible for their positions to be misstated and misrepresented.