‘Better business, better futures’: why sustainability matters to consumers

16 December 2014

Watch Colmar Brunton’s award-winning video to see the top findings from its latest research and read our 10 key take-aways for business.

Colmar Brunton’s recently released Better Business, Better Futures report shows there is plenty of evidence in a post-recession marketplace that values are driving consumer behaviour and purchasing choices. 

The sixth annual report is the largest study conducted on New Zealander consumers about their attitudes, perceptions and behaviours around sustainability.  

So what does this mean for your business? Generation Y (between 14 and 30 years of age) is the one to watch out for:  they are the consumer group who are driving more sustainable purchasing behaviour in the marketplace.

Sustainability is becoming mainstream, with 92% of consumers welcoming sustainable products and services into their lives by making more sustainable purchasing choices (such as choosing organic, fair trade, and eco-friendly products). Increasingly, consumers are growing their own vegetables, reusing bottles and cups and composting.

“Successful businesses in the future will be those that deliver value and values,” says Colmar Brunton CEO Jacqueline Ireland.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly informed and are starting to really care about what they purchase. They’re looking for brands and organisations that do this too,” she says.

Colmar Brunton has produced an award-winning short video which highlights the key points from the report. Click here to watch.

We’ve summarised 10 key points from the report for businesses to consider.

  1. 73% of respondents want to work for a sustainable company.
  2. People want to buy from and work for companies that genuinely care about people.
  3. A company’s value proposition, particularly in relation to sustainability, is becoming increasingly important to consumers, especially to Generations X and Y.
  4. Sustainability is increasingly influencing purchasing behaviour across all categories.
  5. More than half of all consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced products and services.
  6. These spending shifts are seen in the everyday lifestyle choices and purchases that consumers make.
  7. Consumers are demanding more transparency from the brands they are loyal to.
  8. Brands that are genuine in their purpose and tell their story in a compelling way are becoming more powerful.
  9. Consumer concerns increasing at the fastest rate are around processed foods, waterways and affordability of housing. Health and social issues are a hot topic, and concern for the environment is also increasing.
  10. Business opportunities exist around growing and marketing food that is fair trade, organic and GE free.  

 The report concludes with three suggestions for businesses who desire to tap into this growing market of sustainably-minded consumers.

  1. Be meaningful: define shared values that connect your brand with your target consumers.
  2. Be different: connect your purpose to your brand story to create a point of difference.
  3. Be salient: get noticed by ‘baking’ your values and purpose into your brand experience, and take this to market.

 Click here to read the full report.