Consumers’ expectations are changing, research shows that more than six in ten younger consumers now closely consider a company’s ethical values and authenticity before buying their products.
A brand’s social purpose is now more important than ever and ranks among the top factors that influence purchase decisions. Those belonging to Gen Z and the millennial generations feel a stronger connection to retailers that subscribe to a larger purpose, according to the study of more than 2,000 U.K. consumers.
It’s vital that brands understand what issues their customers are most passionate about, and have a visible and relatable social purpose.
Gen Z can be hugely receptive to campaigns that champion causes that are important to them, issues that are shown to be the most important to Gen Z include animal welfare, equality, diversity, and human rights.
Social purpose covers a broad variety of areas, including responsible sourcing of products, supporting local communities, changing manufacturing processes, and showing compassion to disadvantaged groups. Brand purpose is about contributing to the collective good as well as making a profit.
The benefits of having a social purpose can be massive for a business if it is properly marketed. It is, therefore, no surprise that more companies are starting to sell sustainable products, reducing their carbon footprint, supporting charitable causes and developing socially astute campaigns that inspire. Some great examples include;
- UK sandwich chain Pret-A-Manger opening all-vegetarian outlets.
- Ikea – using sustainable credentials to set it apart from other affordable homeware brands, setting out the intention to use only recycled or FSC certified wood by 2020
- L’Oréal – unveiling its first vegan hair colour products.
- Lego – Investing £150M on addressing climate change and reducing waste.
- Toms Shoes – donating a pair of shoes to children in need, for every pair sold. They are also anti-bullying advocates, working closely with several organisations to set examples of ethical behaviour.
- Dove – Campaign for real Beauty
In 2019 brands need to work harder to retain their customers, and understand that consumers are responding positively to brands who care about the same things that they do. With the added, and heightened presence of social media, consumers now have a voice and with this comes the power to bring about success or failure to companies.
A one-off good deed is no longer enough, social purpose needs to be genuine, and it must be marketed well.
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