Whiplash Team. December 2018.
The paradigm that companies exist just to generate profits is no longer so. Consumers demand a purpose from organizations that is connected to their needs and is responsible with the Planet. The challenge involves a unique opportunity for brands to commit to sustainability.
We live in an environment dominated by technology, mobility and the Internet where users demand from organizations, on the one hand, an increasingly personalized offer of experiences, products and services, and on the other, greater responsibility in their commitment to the society.
Brands are increasingly committing to help improve living conditions on the planet, not only from an environmental point of view –with the crusade against plastic as the spearhead–, but also socially and economically. The speed at which information travels, users get hyper-connected, the incorporation of Millenial and Z generations to the consumer market and the growing awareness of consumers about how organizations have the obligation to contribute in the building of more responsible and happy societies, all represent big reasons for brands to revisit their raison d’etre and align it with the demands of society.
According to a recent research, conducted in Spain among others by Dirse, the Spanish association of social responsibility managers, responsibility is a broad concept that covers many things: “it is about whether a company pays the taxes where it generates the benefits; if it takes employees into consideration; if they avoid bad practices such as bribes or set prices with other companies in the sector; or if they apply the precautionary environmental principle and prevention, and if they manage risks related to unwanted impact (social, environmental and economic) caused by the activity “.
Christopher Smith explains that, in the digital context, where personalization of experiences, products and services has become mandatory, the responsibility of brands is also an issue. “In this scenario we consider responsible brands those that apply business ethics in obtaining and using data from their users, because the fact that we have certain information does not give us the right to use it arbitrarily for our own interests,” says Smith.
The enhancement of the intangibles of a brand with an ethical and responsible sense throughout all its touch points with society –the behavior of people, the staging of products and the development of sustainable innovation projects–, exerts a positive pressure on the reputation of the brand, by making visible their commitment to work, together, for the common good. This is the key to the survival of brands, because in the era of sustainability responsible activities and consumption will become mainstream, and companies with the sole and fundamental objective of growth at any cost, will tend to fade.