In the wake of the pandemic, consumers are now demanding more sustainable products and services. But what does that mean for your brand?
Consumers have long displayed a frustrating paradox – a report from 2019 revealed that sixty-five percent said that they would buy from purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, while only twenty-six percent actually did so. Eco-friendly products are often viewed as luxury items due to the higher price tag and corporations that throw around terms like organic and green, purely from a marketing standpoint, have succeeded in watering down the meaning behind those terms to an extent where consumers may now view sustainability claims as being deceptive.
One of the side-effects of the pandemic, is that consumers are becoming more “woke” and displaying stronger convictions when it comes to buying from companies that align with their values. According to the 2020 Consumer Culture Report published by 5WPR, eighty-three percent of Millennials say it’s important for the companies they buy from to align with their beliefs and values while two-thirds have actively boycotted a company they have previously purchased from due to their stance on an issue. Younger generations are also increasingly influenced by external sources such as social media, role models, and celebrity endorsements.
But it’s not only the strategic decisions of your company that affect how your brand is viewed. When you’re operating a sustainable business that drives positive social or environmental change, it’s important to remember that the choices you make as a business professional also reflect directly on the values that you communicate through your brand.
So what does this mean for your brand as demand for sustainable products and services continues to grow? In order to remain competitive, companies will need to become more transparent about their supply chains and partners. And for the working environment, this means that the future of coworking is sustainable as companies transition towards the new economy. Brands that share office space will need to align themselves with coworking spaces that support their values for creating positive environmental impact. Authenticity here is key, and intentional choices with full transparency will drive home that message to your customers.
Impact Hub Stockholm has made a commitment to become certified Climate Neutral in 2021. Climate action has always been high on our agenda, and despite the financial challenges handed to us over the last year, we have made the decision to continue investing in reaching the goal of becoming the first Climate Neutral coworking space in Sweden.
Together with German company CO2-positiv! we will undertake an assessment of our impact from scope 1 – 3 based on data from 2020 to discover what our emissions were and to identify the areas that can continue to be improved upon. Our long-term goal is to reach Net Zero, meaning we aim to become Climate Positive, and like everything else we do, we hope to create a better world for the generations to come.
Cathy Xiao Chen is the Head of Operations at Impact Hub Stockholm. With a passion for supporting social entrepreneurs, she advises and connects changemakers with collaborators to maximize their impact.