Sustainability is vital for the long-term health of businesses. Consumers expect brands to play a role in moving society toward a more sustainable future. One way for brands to accomplish this is to help close the gap between what people say and what they do.
Granted, for many companies, the question is how. Ipsos research shows that consumers have weak or undifferentiated opinions about companies’ sustainability practices. They want companies to have solid policies, but don’t follow closely what companies actually do.
Part of that is likely due to consumers not understanding the broader scope of sustainability, which often takes place out of sight, such as in supply chain improvements. But it also reflects that businesses may be trying to communicate too much. There are too many labels, initiatives and words that fail to connect with consumers. In short, businesses need to focus.
By homing in on specific benefits to amplify, brands can move consumers from a vague concept of sustainability toward greater appreciation, understanding and action.
To determine this focus, businesses can ask themselves the following questions to identify the sweet spot between their brand impact, brand values, consumers’ attitudes and behavior — and the ability to execute on the plan.
By using this lens, businesses can identify which sustainability actions and messages can be most effective.