Thursday, 1 September 2016

Not just talking the talk – Retail embracing social as well as environmental issues

Not just talking the talk – Retail embracing social as well as environmental issues

We all know that in order to stay on top of your game, you have to adapt. Sometimes moving forward and embracing a strategy that initially has no positive impact on your top or bottom lines can turn into a the “best idea we ever had”.

Of the top 20 brand leaders in 1999, only seven remain in the top 20 today. A very sobering statistic, but one common factor for those that have remained in that top 20 (Cadbury, Google, Dyson, Lego, Sony, Virgin) is their ability to introduce social and environmental matters into their strategy as well as their offering.

A 2016 survey of more than 1800 CEOs in the retail industry found that 52% of CEOs believe their customers choose brands not solely on price and features but also on the basis of social and environmental issues.

In response to consumer concerns, and hoping to be among the brand leaders topping the list in 15 years from now, these companies are offering healthier options, minimising CO2 output and water usage, collaborating with local non-governmental organisations to improve the environment and economic conditions.

Retail giants Costco and Starbucks have led the way in adopting above-minimum-wage pay, a trend that is currently under the microscope here in Australia, and one that some consumers say “heavily influences” their purchase decisions.

So, what are the implications? Consumer goods and retail companies are learning that they need to better represent their customers’ broader needs and values. The few leading brands that have embraced social issues for many years will become part of a much larger club as their competitors and peers scramble to embrace the changes.

Stronger alliances with public health and environmental organisations will take center stage. Companies will invest in political lobbying and government-relations resources to help articulate their point of view on any number of high-profile public policy issues.

At 20Cube, one of our key values is to ensure we have a positive impact on our environment. If you would like to understand how 20Cube can help your business have a positive impact on the environment, please contact us.

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