Why consumers prefer responsible businesses

featured-in-kochie-business-buildersEthical brands are no longer a way of the future, they are the way of NOW. According to research conducted by Nielson, global consumers are willing to put their money where their heart is.

This is great news for all of you socially responsible ethipreneurs. By sharing this research, we hope it serves as both reassurance and motivation to keep doing what you’re doing!

Here are some of the interesting key findings direct from Nielson, along with our own comments and advice:

 

1. People will pay more

Study findings:

Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Our advice:

These findings are heartening, especially if you invest extra time and money implementing sustainable and ethical practices. If you’ve currently been absorbing the cost of these ethical practices, now may be the time to consider increasing your prices. However, it’s important to promote your social and environmental impact in all your marketing material, and on all packaging.

Example:

At Ethically Creative, we designed the below brochure for one of our skincare clients. At the bottom of the brochure there are three logos, which identify the products as: Australian Made, vegan and cruelty-free. These three simple symbols promote the company’s social and environmental impact swiftly and effectively, allowing consumers to make a quick, informed choice.

People will pay more

 

2. Packaging and labelling is important

Similar to the above point, a huge 52% of global respondents say their purchasing decisions are partly dependent on the packaging. They check the labelling first to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Packaging and labelling is important

 

3. Social purpose influence’s consumer’s buying decisions

Study findings:

Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability from Nielsen says of the findings, “Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions. This behaviour is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”
She added, “It’s no longer a question if consumers care about social impact. Consumers do care and show they do through their actions. Now the focus is on determining how your brand can effectively create shared value by marrying the appropriate social cause and consumer segments.”

Our advice:

Your brand can become socially responsible, even if you sell services rather than products. No matter what you offer, you can contribute a portion of your profits (or donate your time) to a charity that aligns with your business.

Examples:

A plumber can invest in a charity that provides clean water to people in third world countries. An arborist can help plant trees with their local community. A shoe retailer can donate sandshoes to homeless shelters.

Social purpose influence’s consumer’s buying decisions

 

4. Consumers want to minimise their impact on global climate change

The findings:

Two-thirds of the “sustainable mainstream” population will choose products from sustainable sources over other conventional products. These consumers will buy many eco-friendly products, and have changed their behaviour to minimise their impact on global climate change. They’re also more likely to buy products repeatedly from a company if they know the company is mindful of its impact on the environment and society.

Our advice:

It’s much easier to nurture your existing client base than it is to constantly attract new clients, so these findings are exciting! Customers will return time and time again if you’re investing time and money in trying to help the planet.

Example:

You can promote your environmental impact everywhere, including your website. At Ethically Creative, we use a simple logo at the bottom of our website to show that we’re carbon neutral.

Consumers want to minimise their impact on global climate change

 

5. Millennials embrace ethical brands in a big way

Findings:

Of the entire global respondents in the survey, half were Millennials (age 21 – 34). Millennials represent 51 percent of those who will pay extra for sustainable products and 51 percent of those who check the packaging for sustainable labeling.

Our advice:

If your brand appeals to Millennials, it’s time to review your ethical and sustainability practices. If not, you could lose customers to your competitors.

Millennials embrace ethical brands in a big way

 

Conclusion

These research findings are good news for everyone! Brands can enjoy increased sales by promoting their social and environmental efforts. Consumers can do business with brands that are socially responsible, feeling good about themselves in the process. And most importantly, the planet and its inhabitants will enjoy a better world!