Brands and the companies behind them have huge power to influence and do good in the world. And this is exactly what people expect them to do.
There is a growing appetite for brands that have a clear purpose along with a commitment to contribute positively beyond their own interests – and to create sustainable initiatives that, through their actions, help make the world a better place in some way.
This is why we’ve asked brand owners and those who advise them some key questions. How do they see the value of sustainability? And what more can we all do to help protect our future?
At Hall & Partners, we’re keen to understand the true motivations and experiences of consumers who are balancing multiple needs – for quality and value – with ethical, higher-order reasons for choosing a brand.
Where is the growing focus and demand for brands leading in sustainability and how do they best respond? Do consumers really care, or just say they care? What is really, really driving their behaviour? And, beyond their own commercial interests, is it the responsibility of brands and companies to use their power to contribute to and shape the world’s view on sustainability?
Brands must make sustainability central to the proposition, not a sideshow. The way in which they embed ethical thinking into their promise – so it becomes a relevant part of what makes them distinctive – is becoming more important. However, for brands to successfully drive change, they need to be led, built and measured differently.
Hall & Partners has therefore developed a new template for building and evaluating ethical brands. Sustainable Beliefs offers ten actionable ways that brands can save the world. It focuses on the importance of integrity and inspiration, finding new ways for brands to deliver beyond their own interests and make a positive contribution to the world. Our findings show that, when brands do this, there is an opportunity for them to build a new kind of consumer relationship.
We are also launching a new framework which identifies how brands can create inspiring brand narratives, innovative brand experiences and communities of engaged brand fans. Increasingly, the new way for brands to engage and inspire is by building causes that communities can rally around.
It is clear that until we have better insights into how people’s views are evolving and how we measure the value of sustainability to brands, it will be difficult to make sustainability central to strategic planning. However, momentum is building, and brands ignore this at their peril. Sustainability can no longer be pushed aside as an interesting Corporate Social Responsibility issue. Understanding the relevance of sustainability to brands and its potential to help differentiate is increasingly important – particularly if you hope to engage the new generation.
In an ever-changing world, the size of questions and challenges seem to get bigger and more important. We hope this campaign gives you some proactive food for thought and inspiration to take action.