3 Principles for Brands when it comes to Sustainability

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3 Principles for Brands when it comes to Sustainability
10 Nov 2021
5 min read

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Modern brands can make a difference by embracing ecological innovation at every stage of the supply chain, from impact measurement and transparency pledges to elevating customer experiences and influencing consumer behavior to consider communal wellness and planetary boundaries. #ThinkWithNiche

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3 Principles for Brands when it comes to Sustainability

The sustainability challenge is both structural and communication-related. Suppliers are not inventing quickly enough, gaining certifications has become a box-ticking exercise reserved for the few who can afford it, and consumption patterns are not changing for the better, contrary to popular assumption. At least not on the size and at the rate required to bring about substantial change.

The problem of sustainability innovation is that the entire supply chain must be in sync with a brand's social and environmental storylines. If a company's suppliers, production partners, distributors, and packaging partners aren't on board, it won't be able to innovate. Furthermore, no innovation will succeed if marketing executives have only a rudimentary understanding of how the supply chain works. Because their duties include the entire supply chain, CEOs have the authority to innovate. However, innovation is a growth engine, not a project, and it is more important than ever in today's ecologically challenged industries.

Make decisions based on the impact they will have

Luxury entrepreneurs and executives are increasingly interested in circular economy models, owing to the fact that many fashion and beauty brands are looking to go beyond the traditional conscious collection and recycling programme and capitalize on the commercial opportunity of rental, repair, and refill services. Simultaneously, their distribution is set up for one-time purchases, and while circular models are progressively gaining traction, non-circular products still account for the majority of their revenue.

Prioritization that is effective takes into account the amount of difficulty of implementation. Persistence is crucial, but if a sustainable programme cannot be implemented in the following quarter, the best course of action is to move on.

Change the way you think about transparency in the workplace

Several retail CEOs and COOs in the luxury fashion and beauty industries have informed me that the largest obstacle they encounter is a lack of bandwidth to publish customer-facing sustainability reports, despite their suppliers' companies having social and environmental compliance reports.Organizational structures that are more than a decade old should not be replicated. They are unable to meet the communication needs of a generation of consumers that have the shortest attention span in recorded history. Making transparency a daily focus (like social media) will provide greater results than striving to generate corporate-style sustainability reports.

For example, it will begin the customer feedback loop, which is an important part of any innovation process. To summarise, obtaining, evaluating, and simplifying compliance reports into customer-centric content is the way to go for mutually beneficial sustainability reporting.

Convert supplier relationships into strategic alliances

In the face of shifting customer attitudes, supply chain innovation will need brands employing analytics, segmenting assortments with smaller batch sizes, and embracing dual sourcing and nearshoring to achieve environmental efficiencies across the product creation process. In reality, the only way to achieve this is to develop meaningful collaborative partnerships with suppliers. The goal is to establish knowledge-transfer relationships with suppliers that include innovation at all times.

Conclusion

A brand can have a positive impact beyond increasing revenue figures by understanding the model of the influence of its sustainability message. Some of these impact outcomes include promoting improved consumption patterns among customers and influencing lifestyle shifts. Customers-focused businesses like Stella McCartney and Gabriela Hearst recognise that in the age of social commerce, there is potential to deliver sustainability-based value at every customer touchpoint, whether online or in-store. All of these touchpoints contribute to the formation of a relationship that modern marketers must maintain.