If you are interested in the attitudes and reasons behind purchasing consumer products, last year’s GfK Sustainability Report* across 26 global markets with 85,000 respondents made for some hopeful - and also alarming - reading. Hopeful, that sustainability is becoming a major factor in purchasing, and alarming that so many businesses and organisations are not aware of or ready for this change.
While in 2021 38% of households identified as ‘eco-dismissers’ and have little or no interest in shopping with the environment and waste reduction in mind, around two-thirds of households identified as ‘eco-active’ (22%) or ‘eco-considerers’ (40%). Eco-actives alone represent $446 billion household spend globally.
In the last two years, the pandemic acted as a catalyst for environmental concerns for consumers, and during the pandemic, many first-time entrepreneurs took to their kitchen tables and had a think about how they could make the world a better place. In fact, over the last six months I have worked with some enlightened entrepreneurs who are building their brands and legacy with sustainability in mind. Think organic wine, sustainable children’s clothing and paraben-free home fragrance products….
And do you know what?
These smaller brands are getting a disproportionate share of voice in PR terms. This is because they understand the future belongs to businesses that lead on environmental, sustainable and governance (ESG) standards. These innovative businesses are communicating their green credentials loudly and proudly.
Green ambitions are a golden opportunity as there is a growing demand for these products and services, and increasingly media and content creators are looking for these brand stories to share. I know because my agency keeps being asked for “more sustainability content please”!
Of course, many established businesses have ESG in-built into their growth strategy, but many aren’t communicating this, other than for procurement processes or on hidden pages within their websites. They don’t yet realise it’s important to shout about this to customers. They’re instead busy focusing on sharing how unique or cutting-edge their brand is.
My advice? Ensure your brand communications strategy incorporates what and how your business is doing in terms of ESG. Today’s consumers want to know where you stand on the environment, sustainability and robust governance. And tomorrow’s purchasers won’t buy from you unless you make these areas of your business strategy extremely transparent and visible. Your marketing and PR efforts are crucial to this. To be clear, failing to communicate your ESG position puts your business at risk in both the short and longer-term.
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