Sustainable Brands Outperform Others

While a variety of factors influence consumer buying habits, one key metric is proving to be increasingly more important to shoppers – sustainability. Brands that marketed their sustainable efforts in 2014 saw increased sales at higher rates than others according to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report. Sales from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability saw growth of more than 4%, while others grew less than 1%.

Specific products and offerings do not necessarily have to be sustainable in nature for brands themselves to be viewed as sustainable in the public eye. A corporate commitment to environmental and/or community values plays an important role in consumer perception.

Two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands

Among the 66% of global respondents willing to pay more, over 50% of them are influenced by key sustainability factors, such as a product being made from fresh, natural and/or organic ingredients (69%), a company being environmentally friendly (58%), and company being known for its commitment to social value (56%). Sales, and coupons didn’t even make the top five. For this group, personal values are more important than personal benefits, such as cost or convenience. – 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report.

Age plays a role in the willingness to pay more for sustainable products as well. Of consumers under the age of 20, know as Generation Z, 72% are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. This number has increased from 55% in 2014. Comparably, almost three-out-of-four Millennials are willing to pay more. More than half (51%) of Baby Boomers are also willing to spend more for sustainable brands.

“Consumer brands that haven’t embraced sustainability are at risk on many fronts,” says Carol Gstalder, SVP, Reputation & Public Relations Solutions for Nielsen. “Social responsibility is a critical part of proactive reputation management. And companies with strong reputations outperform others when it comes to attracting top talent, investors, community partners, and most of all consumers.”

Quest can help your company develop and implement a customized sustainability strategy to reduce your carbon footprint. To start building your sustainable brand today, contact Quest.

Image credit: Looker_Studio/Shutterstock

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