Consumers Want Brands To Help Them Make The World Better, Says Sustainable Strategist

Consumers Want Brands To Help Them Make The World Better, Says Sustainable Strategist
SHARE
THIS



Are consumers becoming more in tune with how the world benefits from their purchases? Republic of Everyone founder and partner Ben Peacock thinks they are, and that the industry needs to listen up.

What’s in it for me (WIFM)? Probably the most important four letters in marketing history. As true now as they were when written, right?

Yes, but something’s changing. ‘We’ is now becoming important too.

According to a recent Nielsen Report, almost 75 per cent of millennial respondents are willing to pay more for ‘sustainable offerings’, up from approximately half in 2014. What’s more, brand trust and commitment to social value and community are three of the biggest ‘purchase influencers’ of 2015.

Yes, I still want to buy something that solves my problem – whether that’s whiter whites or something to look good in tonight.

But, I also want to know that my world is benefiting too.

Me, We. The ultimate combination, and one which is already creating new kinds of brands with new kinds of fans who offer a level of loyalty and willingness to pay premium prices like never seen before.

Patagonia is the poster child of this brand movement. Its brand positioning as champion of the environment sees it often act more like an NGO than a for profit company. Yet, this ‘what’s in it for we’ approach to marketing has added a whole lot of ‘what’s in it for me’ to their bottom line.

The company grew threefold in just seven years. All by standing for something real, and making that stand known.

What’s that you say? Easy when your customers are a bunch of cashed-up, mountain climbing hippies. True. But Patagonia is just one example. Let’s not forget Anita Roddick’s global Body Shop empire built on the mantra of no animal testing. Or step into your supermarket and see Thank You water morph into muesli bars, cereal, body wash and lotions. Show me another brand that’s reproduced across your supermarket shelves that fast.

And what about Pharrell Williams fronting a new range of G-Star Raw clothes made from recovered sea plastics? Or Kelly Slater’s new Outerknown sustainable surf-wear? These are not cheap brands. They are premium. And they’re selling like hotcakes.

Even the most wonderful marketer of all, Nike, can be tracked back to ‘We-World’ issues like female empowerment and championing sport as giving hope to African-American communities.

Yes, the world is changing. WIFM is not going away, but the age of WIFW is here too. The question is are you going to be a part of it?

This brave new world favours the brave. And the first step is stepping out of the comfortable world of brand and marketing and down the hall into that slightly geeky department labelled ‘Community’, ‘Sustainability’, ‘CSR’ or, for the more advanced, ‘Shared Value’.

In here you will find a different kind of beast. One who spends their time understanding the social and environmental issues that matter most to your organisation, and who has some understanding of how to go out there and solve them.

Somewhere in the piles of academic white papers camouflaging their desks, you’ll find your company’s most recent sustainability report. Yes, at first glance it looks about as exciting as an annual report on Prozac, but hang in there. Deep in the pages of complicated waffle there is gold. It’s what your company is already doing to improve your customers’ worlds, but probably aren’t telling them.

Take this report, then take a scalpel to it. Cut out the campaigns that match to what your marketing intel says your customers care about. Now kill the weak and feed the strong. The last initiative standing is the first one you should take to market. But before you do, you need to make it marketing ready.

And you know how, because you’re the marketing guru.

Don’t tell, involve. No-one cares that your company made the world better, they care that you helped them make it better.

Pick the problem, then use social to get people involved, and PR to tell the tale. Fill your Facebook, empower your Instagram. Social media has never been so social as when it is about an issue that brings us all together.

Take it into the real world. Give people a way to lend a hand. Yes, changing the world is the ultimate brand activation.

Talk about the issue, talk about how people can get involved and your fans will talk about you. Advertising is dead. People are now your most powerful media channel.

Build a brand that stands for something by doing something. Not by making up a point of difference from focus groups.

Then, when you’ve done it once, do it again, bigger, better and with a new problem to solve. Assemble them all under one corporate purpose and let that lead your brand. Products, services, community sustainability and CSR all leading to one higher purpose. Now that’s a company I want to work for and buy from.

What’s in it for we? A better world.

What’s in it for me? That feeling that when I buy from you I’m part of the solution, not the problem.

What’s in it for you? More loyal fans in an increasingly disloyal world.

So, start with We and you’ll find there’s something in there for You and Me too.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It
  • Media
  • Opinion

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It

I'm afraid we can't let you read this piece Dave! That's a joke about A Space Odyssey 2001, young B&T readers.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai

AnalogFolk has opened in Shanghai and, as B&T's trusty Funk & Wagnalls atlas tell us, is somewhere near Wollongong.

Social TV – Will You Be At The Party?
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Opinion

Social TV – Will You Be At The Party?

Can't keep-up with the goings-on in the Aussie TV industry? Well, hit the couch, pull on the trakkie daks & peruse this.

Opinion

by Rochelle Burbury

Rochelle Burbury
JWT Melbourne Hooks John West’s Creative
  • Advertising

JWT Melbourne Hooks John West’s Creative

You'd only need snog a B&T staffer to know of our affection for the John West oysters in aspic & smoked mackerel ranges.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney-Based Tech Marketing Firm, Law Of The Jungle, Scoops Top International Gong
  • Marketing

Sydney-Based Tech Marketing Firm, Law Of The Jungle, Scoops Top International Gong

Sydney-based online cloud solution for marketing compliance, Law of the Jungle, has beaten the world’s best firms to win a prestigious RegTech Markets 2017 Spotlight Award. RegTech Markets, a global community for regulatory technology, inaugurated these awards to “shine a light on the world’s best and brightest RegTech companies”.  A panel of 30 industry experts […]

Is This The Bleakest Christmas Ad Ever?
  • Campaigns

Is This The Bleakest Christmas Ad Ever?

Tired of pretty people pulling bon-bons in your Christmas campaigns? Well, here's one to slash the wrists to instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Truth About Native Advertising!
  • Opinion

The Truth About Native Advertising!

Do you stammer about the office, railing against native advertising's great untruths? Read this and stop scaring people.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Are We Only Just Starting To Use VR To Train Staff?
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Are We Only Just Starting To Use VR To Train Staff?

In this opinion piece, PHD’s news business and marketing manager, Chloe Hooper (pictured below), argues why all agencies should be embracing VR to change the way they operate internally. Virtual reality (VR) is something most of us have had exposure to, but how many of us are really exploiting its potential to grow our people […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PRIA Announces Winners Of 41st National Golden Target Awards
  • Marketing

PRIA Announces Winners Of 41st National Golden Target Awards

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) last night announced the winners of the 41st National Golden Target Awards at a glittering ceremony hosted by Aussie actor and TV host Shane Jacobson at the Sydney Opera House. A sold-out crowd of more than 160 PR and communication professionals from around the country came together to […]

Personalisation At Scale: Targeting Audiences With People-based Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Personalisation At Scale: Targeting Audiences With People-based Marketing

In this opinion piece, Indy Khabra (pictured below), national managing director at Amnet ANZ, explains power of the the people-based marketing equation, and also reminds marketers that they cannot afford to take data for granted. We are all talking about it. We all want it. We are all trying to get it. It’s that one-to-one […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine