How Does Your Brand Stack-Up In This Era Of The Cause-Oriented Consumer?

How Does Your Brand Stack-Up In This Era Of The Cause-Oriented Consumer?
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Natalie Dean-Weymark (pictured below), co-director of Compass Creative Studio, says in the era of the cause-oriented consumer, brands need to rethink what real conversions looks like in 2019…

At the recent 1% For The Planet summit in Sydney, I was made aware that not only are 1,800 of global brands now donating one per cent of all annual sales (and that’s sales, not profit!), hundreds of individual people are actually donating one per cent of their own pay check to the same cause.

Nat_DW

These people are not part of any specific organisation, background or demographic – just everyday citizens that recognise the need for immediate action when it comes to environmental issues.

So, as business leaders, what does it mean when the consumer – our buyer – becomes so vested in a purpose and cause that they are willing to sacrifice their own pay check to see the fulfilment of a collective good? We are required to think beyond just conversion and creativity – to further afield concepts like ethics, impact and empowerment of better buying choices for the consumer.

What’s interesting about the above scenario is that we use words like ‘consumer’ and ‘business leaders’. There is no mention of government, nor did I personally see any political representation there on the evening itself. In this essence, the consumer becomes our global citizen, and the brand the trusted custodian of change.

In a political environment of continuous flux, conspiracy and internal conflict; our governments sit at polar opposite to the ideals of the current generations. For better or worse, we are a society created via the feeds of social media platforms – so expectation of aspiration and immediacy go with the territory. In a society that values idealisation and quick-response, local government represent nothing but a lack-of-action.

This is where brands have the ability to step in and mobilise momentum. With large audiences, commercial means and the ability to re-act with agility on the preferred platforms, brands are presented with a unique opportunity to entwine themselves, quite literally, in the hearts and minds of their buying audience. In this sense, marketing and brand strategies, now not only need to consider things like price, promotion and place – but also how your brand is impacting your consumers life, in a way that extends beyond just POS and well into future years.

In this climate, brands are required more so than ever before to review their practices, their profits, their supplier chains, their impact – and find an authentic voice and method for communicating this to their audiences. Consumers are wearing their conscious – loudly and proudly – and brands that are seen not embracing this or creating a worse tomorrow than the one that younger generations are already facing, are quickly becoming outdated and irrelevant.

So how do marketers tackle the task of mapping this out and talking about it to their audience in a way that is both impactful, useful and truthful? Well first, if you aren’t across, and aiming to reduce your environmental impact as a brand – you should be. It’s 2019, in today’s market, anyone that is not addressing this on both an internal and external scale is reckless. In fact, Nielsen reports that more than two-in-three consumers in the Pacific are willing to spend more on products that contain environmentally friendly or sustainable materials, and three-in-five demonstrate a willingness to pay more for products that deliver on social responsibility claims.

This means that we have to look closer at what our social responsibility is, and how we are communicating this to our audiences. Brands need to be looking at supply chains, your business carbon footprint, your take on merchandising, your office waste output – even who you pay your energy bill to, or how your preferred employee super fund is invested.

And if you’re already doing it, be prepared to talk about it – a lot. And for your audience to pick apart your good efforts in skepticism. This means that your team has to be really well informed in the space, or you need to work with someone who is. And don’t for a second think you can fake it – as this is an audience that is well-versed in greenwashing as a marketing tactic. As echoed by Shannon Bourke, environmental & social initiatives manager for Patagonia, on the evening “Embrace transparency. When you start talking about giving programs or any environmental initiatives in your marketing communication, it’s inevitable that you are going to get questions from your customers asking about how your company operates. Customers are expecting more and more that companies have these types of programs in place, but they are also are becoming more discerning in terms of brand authenticity around this. I think you just have to anticipate the questions, and be ready to respond honestly and authentically.”

Bourke then went onto explain that this concept is actually addressed in the Patagonia’s original mission statement ‘to cause no unnecessary harm’ – “the flip side of this,” she says, “actually acknowledges that we are causing harm to a degree, is at forefront of our mind and that we are doing X, Y and Z to solve it.”

Marketing and brand communications has never been heralded as a segment of the industry that can change the world, but at this exact moment of time, we have the power to encourage consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions, that will benefit a better tomorrow.

With the advent of digital, we are a cause-oriented community more so than ever before, and it is within this climate, brands are presented with the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with their audiences like never before. It is within this new-world order that brands become the catalysts for the change that our audience want to see in the future, and are willing to vote with their wallets for.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Compass Creative Studio Natalie Dean-Weymark

Latest News

Havas Media Group Promotes Danni Dimitri To Head of Strategy, Sydney
  • Media

Havas Media Group Promotes Danni Dimitri To Head of Strategy, Sydney

Havas Media Group has appointed Danni Dimitri to the role of head of strategy, Sydney. The appointment is a promotion for Dimitri who has held the title of Havas Media Group strategy director since 2018. Dimitri’s 13 years industry experience spans senior strategy and communications roles at a number of leading agencies. L-R: Virginia Hyland, […]

Our Revolution Appointed By Drinks Brand Bickford’s
  • Marketing

Our Revolution Appointed By Drinks Brand Bickford’s

Heritage drinks brand Bickford’s has appointed Our Revolution as its consumer branding agency to tackle key components of its innovation growth following a pitch process. The agency’s remit will span brand strategy and identity, packaging design, and an above the line campaign for Bickford’s Group. The beverage company’s produce spans from water to alcohol, and […]

Rexona Clinical’s Unique ‘Pitvertising’ Won The Summer, Via Clemenger BBDO Sydney
  • Advertising

Rexona Clinical’s Unique ‘Pitvertising’ Won The Summer, Via Clemenger BBDO Sydney

While the Sydney Sixers won the BBL season ten trophy, Rexona Clinica won the summer sports marketing battle with a game-changing sponsorship idea. BBL 2020-21 series will go down as the ‘Year of the Pit’ after Rexona Clinical owned the summer after unveiling its new form of advertising sponsorship – ‘Pitvertising’. The concept, devised by […]

Air Wick Launches The Rare Bloom Project To Save 120 Native Wildflowers
  • Advertising

Air Wick Launches The Rare Bloom Project To Save 120 Native Wildflowers

Botanica by Air Wick is proud to announce the launch of The Rare Bloom Project™, in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia (WWF) and working in collaboration with The Australian Seed Bank Partnership (ASBP). Over the next three years these organisations will work to help protect Australia’s uniquely rich biodiversity by helping save 120 native wildflower species from the threat of extinction.

Freddo To Disappear From Packs As He Continues To Fight For Endangered Frog Friends
  • Marketing

Freddo To Disappear From Packs As He Continues To Fight For Endangered Frog Friends

For the second year in a row, CADBURY Freddo is giving up his place on the iconic purple packaging to help raise awareness for Australian endangered frogs at risk of disappearing forever! This year, the team at Taronga Zoo, Sydney (Taronga) has also joined the ranks and will be partnering with Freddo alongside Zoos Victoria and Conservation Volunteers Australia to raise awareness and funds for endangered Australian frogs, the Spotted Tree Frog and the Northern Corroboree Frog.

Wired Wins Korea Tourism Remit
  • Marketing

Wired Wins Korea Tourism Remit

The Wired Agency has won the ANZ digital and social remit for the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Sydney Office after an undisclosed pitch process. Wired will execute digital, social, and content for the KTO Sydney Facebook. Managing Partner David Kennedy-Cosgrove said, “we’ve been dreaming of overseas holidays for more than a year now.” “Now we […]

D&AD And Google Partner To Expand Shift, Night-School For Emerging Creatives
  • Advertising

D&AD And Google Partner To Expand Shift, Night-School For Emerging Creatives

D&AD Shift with Google is an accesssible space for self-taught creatives to refine their skills. The aim of the program is to foster a rich talent pool at a time when diversity in the workforce should be a priority. The night school is taking place in New York and London, and will launch in Sydney […]

Stockland Invests $2.5m In smrtr
  • Technology

Stockland Invests $2.5m In smrtr

Stockland has invested $2.5 million In Smrtr. Bitcoin would've arguably been a better bet, but Smrtr it is.

Former Xe.com CEO Simon Griffin Announced As Car Next Door’s COO
  • Marketing

Former Xe.com CEO Simon Griffin Announced As Car Next Door’s COO

Peer to peer car sharing platform Car Next Door has appointed Simon Griffin (main photo) as its chief operating officer. Griffin has more than 13 years’ experience in tech scaleups, having previously been the COO at ASX-listed Prospa, CEO of HIFX – which later merged with and became Xe.com – and chief commercial officer and […]

Nine Announces New CEO Mike Sneesby
  • Media

Nine Announces New CEO Mike Sneesby

B&T raced to this press conference this morning & in lieu of any muffins or coffee we took the pot plant in reception.