Brands embrace sustainable practices and conform to the ideals of conscientious consumers who place sustainability and ethics at the forefront of their purchasing considerations. 54% of Gen Z are willing to spend 10% or more on sustainable products and 63% would do more research on companies that claim sustainability before buying anything, according to a survey of consumer insights in Southeast Asia by Environmental Insight.
Sarabjeet Saluja, founder and CEO of Saundh says, “This is an era of open source. In the current time and age, the merit of the brand lies in the transparency of the process. All major consumer surveys show that today’s generation values honesty, rawness, and authenticity much more than perfection. Adopting an open communication model allows the brand to speak about its process, their practices and better connect with its community. Building a brand today without thinking about conscious and planet-friendly activities is a non-negotiable pillar. I believe it’s okay, that if you’re not a 100% conscious brand. But it’s more important than ever to talk about even the small, important changes you’ve made as a brand.”
Honest communication connects to a wider community and thus adds value to the life of the brand beyond just a product. This is why brands that make a conscious effort to adopt sustainable practices definitely have a higher edge over their customers. “It is well established that there is a group of customers willing to pay a premium if the brand’s sustainability ethic matches the customer’s,” says Saluja.
Conscious consumers actively seek products that align with their values, provided prices remain within reasonable limits. By addressing pricing issues and finding innovative solutions, brands can effectively capitalize on the market potential that exists for sustainable products.
Iffat H. Jivan, COO, Ed-a-Mamma, says, “When brands successfully overcome the price challenge, it opens up substantial market opportunities for sustainable brands to thrive.”
Jivan explains the various factors that contribute to the competitive advantage of sustainable brands:
- Growing consumer demand
There has been a significant increase in consumer awareness and concern about environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution and resource depletion. As a result, conscious consumers actively seek out brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.
- Differentiation and brand positioning
By adopting sustainable practices, brands can differentiate themselves from competitors and gain a unique market position. This differentiation allows them to attract a specific segment of consumers who prioritize sustainability, differentiating them in a crowded market.
- Improved brand reputation and loyalty
Brands that prioritize sustainability build a positive reputation as responsible and ethical entities. This reputation fosters consumer trust and loyalty, who develop a strong emotional bond with the brand. Conscious consumers often become brand advocates, recommending the products to others and further expanding the brand’s reach.
- Cost savings and efficiency gains
While sustainability initiatives may require initial investment, they can also lead to long-term cost savings. Practices such as energy efficiency, waste reduction and sustainable procurement can reduce operational costs and improve overall efficiency. These savings can contribute to the brand’s profitability and financial performance.
- Regulatory Compliance and Risk Mitigation
Many governments and regulators are introducing stricter environmental regulations and sustainability standards. By proactively adopting sustainable practices, brands can ensure compliance with current and future regulations, reducing the risk of fines or negative publicity associated with non-compliance.
- Access to new markets and partnerships
Sustainability is not just a trend, but a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. Brands that embrace sustainability open up to new market opportunities and potential partnerships. For example, retailers and e-commerce platforms often prioritize sustainable products, giving sustainable brands wider distribution channels and greater exposure to potential customers.
As the demand for sustainability continues to rise, brands that embrace sustainable practices are well positioned for long-term success in a rapidly evolving marketplace.