Conscious Consumerism is HARD in long supply chains - as a consumer it’s hard to know the consequences (good or bad) of your choices, in short supply chains we have a more immediate feedback loop which shows us the consequences. However we will need both global and local supply chains to achieve sustainability (which, to be clear is an ongoing improvement, as something that is not growing is, effectively, dying).
Conscious brand are faced with increasing challenges as the complexity of “what is sustainable” is increasing at a rapid rate.
Some of the facts - as we discovered in our research (which you can download here)
50% of all product skus (since we’ve been measuring product skus) have been created in the last 7 years.
(Thats a LOT of options added to consumer choice in a very short period of time).
We have more trust marks than we have ever before
(and yet it seems we are no closer to trusting where our products come from than before)
We have more channels to market than we have ever before (so the consumer is faced with online, in store, curated shops, farmers markets, direct food delivery, and how to compare products on merit across channels and how this fits into life and decision matrices).
We know more about sustainability than we have ever before (due to information age and the internet, and we know all information on the internet is accurate and reliable right... I hope the sarcasm is sensed here). As consumers become more aware we are faced with more questions… what really is sustainable, and is this purchase creating an impact in a way that aligns with my values, and often feeling an uncertainty about trusting something they can’t see (such as things in longer supply chains, like the labour force, the material source).
What does this mean for conscious brands?
Conscious Brands have the challenge of
- Remaining relevant
- Remaining front of mind in a cluttered marketplace
- Retaining consumers - when their loyalty may lie more with the channel than the brand.
- Educating - because conscious brands are innovating and often need the consumer to be educated to make a “better choice”
- Dealing with the intention action gap- plaguing many conscious brands, what consumers say they want and what they buy are often different things, largely due to a lack of awareness and front of mind, about how the brand addresses their values (values which aren’t always front of mind when doing habitual behaviours like supermarket shopping out of necessity)
All this boils down to connection. We see that in short supply chains, consumers are face to face with the impacts their choices make and more easily trust brands that are “closer to home”. So how do we achieve this “connection” which results in all the really great metrics such as cost of acquisition, retention, relevance, and education. All of which is hard to do in a cluttered noisy fragmented marketplace.
So what is Webtools Agritech doing about it?
We're thinking a bit differently... asking a lot of why questions and designing a solution that addresses underlying issues, read on for more details!
1. We’ve made it super simple for the conscious consumer to “build their own algorithm” of values, and be able to compare all their purchases against these values (reducing the intention action gap the we so often see, and is a HUGE issue for conscious brands)
2. We’ve created a plug and play brand platform that uses all your data points from assurance and sustainability accreditation and processes, allows marketing to add context and creates a real emotional connection content that aligns with your consumers values, creating more trust
- Removes the reliance on channels
- Keeps front of mind
- Enables sound bite educational marketing approach
- Allows you to see aggregated view of consumer value preferences in real Time (and proactively create content and Products that meet those needs).
3. We’ve made it super simple to capture proof of quality, claims and brand promises in ways that consumers will understand/ trust and growers/farmers can easily capture. See our Prove Product
- We’ve made it so that proof can be in many forms, but still easily reported on
- We’ve made it so that proof can be automated
- And made it easy to capture it across many suppliers for many different metrics.
- We've removed significant cost of accessing data points to prove claims market assurances and marketing content, the combination of which builds trust over time. (which is how trust is built).
As conscious brands the challenge is to take technical data and proof, and translate that to a “what’s in it for me” relevance to the end consumer. Why should they care, how does this stack up against other offerings, what is good, better, best, and demonstrate commitment to the journey. As improvements happen, showing this to consumers builds trust.
The brand platform we've designed will do this all without having the channel as a barrier for communication to the end consumer.
By taking this approach, your marketing and sales numbers start to look VERY pretty, your Cost of Customer Acquisition, Total Customer Lifetime Value, Retention and even cost of productisation. You'll have digital spend and your consumer insights requirements that are achieved more effectively through this approach as well.
Don't believe me? Well, here's a fun article from Harvard Business Review that makes the case for a Brand Platform for all brands, we're just doing it with sustainability, real emotional connection and differentiation with proof as the core elements of it.