Social and environmental issues ranging from global warming to gender inequality have been trending topics recently. Though these problems have existed for decades, the “age of technology” has brought these matters to the spotlight. As people around the world fight for their beliefs, they’re turning to new methods to make an impact. Take purchasing power, for instance. Consumers have started demanding support from the brands they use every day.
Stand For Something Or Risk Your Business
Why would you spend money with a company that doesn’t support the things that are essential to your way of living? That’s the question many consumers are starting to ask themselves as they scale back on brands that add to problems on a social or environmental level. They’re saying to companies that if they want their business, they will have to dig deeper than discounts and freebies.
Today’s customers prefer brands that do what they can to support the community and the environment. Here’s a look at some examples of what consumers are demanding.
Safe And Thorough Product Testing
When it comes to purchasing products like dietary supplements, skincare, or cosmetics, consumers are demanding more safe and thorough product testing methods. The goal for many consumers (other than efficiency and quality) is to avoid using animals and assess the sustainability of a product’s ingredients and packaging. So, major brands are taking the extra step to oblige. Whether that means outsourcing cosmetic testing or hosting a panel to get feedback from everyday people, they’ll do what’s necessary to stay in business.
Environmentally-Friendly Ingredients, Packaging, And Operations
Global warming and the decline in the earth’s natural resources are starting to become more apparent. As such, consumers have decided to invest in businesses that are sustainable and offer environmentally-friendly products and services. Today, consumers will switch brands if they believe it will improve their health and save the environment. As a response, companies are doing everything from streamlining processes and going green to using recycled materials for packaging and all-natural ingredients.
Other than providing jobs and stimulating the economy, what are businesses doing to support the communities they serve? Consumers expect brands to give back to the community. Whether they donate to charity, sponsor a school, host a free event, give away free meals, or invest in other small businesses, the idea is that you see residents as more than just potential dollar signs.
Speak Up When It Counts
Remaining neutral when it comes to political, environmental, and social issues is no longer a stance that companies can afford to take. Brands are expected to speak up when something is wrong and support their customer base. It might mean creating a social media post with a trending hashtag, rectifying social inequalities in the workplace, or creating an environment where employees feel free to speak up about things that matter to them.
Making A Change For The Better
Besides maintaining your customer base and revenue, there are several reasons brands should make the shift to support social and environmental causes. It separates you from the competition, increases brand awareness, and helps make changes for the better. Of course, the only way for changes to be effective is to have a proper understanding of your customers. When you know what issues matter most to them, you can use this information to alter company practices. Fortunately, marketing strategies like analytical tools, surveys, and customer reviews can help make your journey easier.
A company is only as successful as its reputation and ability to continually evolve with its target customers’ needs. Part of that means supporting social and environmental issues that mean something to them. You show consumers that you care beyond the sale by making changes within your operations, improving your products, getting involved in the community, and speaking up when it counts. In turn, you’ll find that you have a large following of loyal customers that increase your chances of success.
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