Here’s a sobering thought: According to ad agency McCann, most consumers believe that brands and businesses have a greater ability to create positive change than governments.
No matter what sector you operate in, the bar is set high and will only get higher. And those businesses that do not live up to expectations – or indeed reflect the changing values of consumers – will feel the commercial pressures as conscious consumerism continues to rise.
So how do you start to tell your sustainability story in a way that engages and reassures?
1. Communicate. People want to feel reassured about the purchasing decisions they make, so sign post. Not just on a page on your website, but in-premise. Make it easy for them to understand the sustainability choices you have taken.
2. Make it part of your decision-making. Yes, price and quality remain important, but ask the difficult questions of your distributors and producers – and if you can, favour drinks that have a sustainable proposition over those that don’t.
3. Be open. You don’t need to have all the answers to operate more sustainably, but you should be transparent that you are on a journey to get there. And update your customers along the way.
4. Understand that sustainability is not a tick-box exercise. It is a shift in behaviour that filters through every part of your business. If you are not doing anything, it is only a matter of time before the spotlight is shined on you – by your own customers.
5. Keep it simple. There is so much technical jargon in the sustainability discussion that consumers get lost. Make it easy for them with simple but effective communication.