Giving Compass’ Take:
• More Americans, specifically millennials, only want to buy from brands that have a positive environmental reputation and greener products.
• What are these trends revealing about the average consumer? How can philanthropists benefit from these trends?
• Read about the next phase of business sustainability.
Today, 45% of Americans want to be seen as someone who buys eco-friendly products.
More than half of Americans now know or believe a product is green because of the environmental reputation of the manufacturer. In other words, they don’t believe the product is green if they don’t believe the company behind the product is green.
Half of Americans can think of a time when they’ve purchased or not purchased a product because of the environmental reputation of the manufacturer.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those people can cough up the name of the brand–thus, about a third of Americans can give a real example of a time they’ve put their wallets where their values are.
These trends are even stronger with millennials. Our recent Millennial Pulse report found that when millennials trust a company’s social and environmental practices, 90% say they’ll buy from that brand, and 95% say they’ll recommend the products to their friends and family (largely via social media). Those are some important numbers for brands. A recent report found millennials spend some $600 billion every year. By 2020, experts predict that figure will grow to $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of total retail sales.
That’s why it’s critical for companies to get in front of this wave now. You don’t have to be a “social purpose native,” a brand with a social cause so connected to the product or service that it’s hard to imagine the brand surviving without it as noted in a recent Harvard Business Review article. In other words, you don’t have to be Toms Shoes or Patagonia or Seventh Generation. You can be a “social purpose immigrant,” a company that has prospered without an easily identifiable social-purpose strategy and is now developing one.
Read the full article about how companies should listen to consumers’ concerns about the environment by Suzanne Shelton at FastCompany.˜
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