More and more consumers expect companies to offer products and services that represent the values of the company on issues that they also feel passionate about.
It’s a fact, retailers like Kazidomi are dropping brands despite strong sales because they don’t stand for anything. This is not just a niche market thing, we are talking industry-trend type of magnitude.
Surveys are showing that consumers want brands to be more than just a business, they expect them to be solving society’s issues and not just a consumer pain point. That can mean a lot, from encouraging a healthy lifestyle like we do at Kazidomi, ensuring sustainable sourcing and manufacturing processes, and giving transparency on everything from ingredient sourcing to fair employment practices.
As opposed to common belief, these findings are valid for all generations, from millennials to baby boomers. The average person surveyed is even stating that most brands are not yet transparent enough at the moment and that they have already adapted their buying habits to consume more from brands working on social and environmental causes. A vast majority of consumers also explain that they have already stopped buying from a brand because of questionable decisions they made.
This is big. It means that there is an unmet need at the market level because the current state of brand doesn’t match the desire of the customers and it also implies that a shift will occur (or rather will continue to occur) from traditional companies that don’t stand for anything towards companies who do. Reports also show that socially responsible companies already outperform others (for instance, the most sustainable brands of Unilever demonstrated a growth that was 50% faster that the rest of the portfolio).
The question is not if, but when will the last companies without purposes disappear. Especially because this is a consumer-driven dynamic, and that, at the end of the day, they decide which brand will succeed or die. Additionally, this will be reinforced by B2B forces as no players in the market will be willing to be dealing with the “black sheep”. This is already something you can observe in product manufacturing from which sellers require labels and certification on a regular basis.
The good news is that, being a socially responsible company takes real commitments and is not easy to fake, which means that the companies of the future will be forced to take real actions to get consumers praises.
Some companies already commit to very high standards like Patagonia, who recently donated its $10million tax cut or Ikea that is hiring refugees in Jordan. In a world where the economy is often looked at with a pessimistic view, this is comforting and makes us confident that the companies of tomorrow will do more for the people and the planet than the ones of today. We know that more and more companies will join us in upholding high value standards and help us solve society challenges.