Consumers today recognise that we all have a role to play in creating a world we want to live in – brands cannot afford to ignore the implications of the discerning consumption value. In the 2020s more than ever, consumers will be much more discriminating about the brands they choose to engage with and the purchases they make.
Provenance matters too – consumers are not just going to be challenging brands to do real good in the world, but will interrogate supply chains to make sure brand values aren’t based on rocky foundations. It’s not enough to get people to simply buy a product or service ‘in the moment’, brands need to ensure that consumers feel good about the experience well beyond that moment, as they reflect on what they bought.
There are brands that get this. Think of Adidas’ collaboration with Parley for the Oceans to make running shoes made from recycled ocean plastic. Or Carlsberg’s recent ditching of plastic rings for six packs, replacing them with glue dots on a new Snap Pack.
In France, Avallen who make Calvados, have challenged every aspect of the supply chain and are completely transparent about the provenance of their raw ingredients. They explain how their processes help to conserve the wild bee population – essential to the survival of our food chain. Actions such as these may contribute to the fact that the vast majority, globally, believe it’s possible for a brand to support a good cause and make money at the same time.
Even though many companies have demonstrated that purpose and profit can go hand-in-hand, far too few brands are there yet.
Brands will need to think much more holistically about their consumers and think about them as citizens as well, considering a much more expansive consumer needs. Needs which range from those that impact ‘me’, to those that impact ‘my world’, to those that impact ‘the world’. Brands then need to both innovate and communicate with their consumers based on this understanding – ultimately leading them to feel annoyingly good about their purchase decisions.
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