Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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AWE 2017 177 Perhaps more than any other profession, marketers are highly attuned to trends in consumer behaviours. And we should be. In fact, our very livelihoods depend on it. There is mounting evidence to prove that a profound consumer trend shift is under- way, one that marketers have the capacity to make incredibly powerful. Today, more than ever, consumers are intensely inter- ested in where their products come from. They want to trust the provenance of their ingredients. They want to know that the supply chains of their favourite brands are not using child labour, or chopping down huge swathes of forest. They want to know they are not being charged more for products that don't do any of this stuff—in other words, that they are not being charged a premium for a business behaving how it should have been all along. This move in consumer attitude has profound implications for our industry. We've known for some time that consumers "talk the talk" when it comes to considering purchasing more sustainable products and brands, but that when it comes to purchase, often other factors influence the final decision. However, in recent years this has been changing, so Unilever undertook a piece of research to dig a little deeper into what actually happens when people take out their purses at the till, and the opportunity for brands is huge. Our research shows that 33% of consumers already purchase on the basis of sustainability and more than one-in-five said they would buy a brand that made its sustainability creden- tials clear on the packaging and in the marketing. This is a potential untapped opportunity of €966 billion out of a €2.5 trillion market for sustainable goods. So what moves consumers from saying they will to actually doing so? As advertisers we need to understand that the drivers of sustainable purchasing are trust and social norms. Consumers need to trust the people who make the product. And they need to feel it is a purchase that is valued by the people they care about, but they don't want to pay more or sacrifice performance—and why should they? Consumers want it all—sustainable brands that are effective, afford- able and sustainable—but they don't want to buy new brands. They want the brands they know and love to be sustainable. So at Unilever, we are not bringing new 'sustainable' prod- ucts to the market—we are making the ones we have, and consumers love, purpose-led. We call these our Sustainable Living brands—brands that have a strong purpose, but where the product itself is also contributing towards a more sus- tainable planet, whether that's by reducing the amount of plastic, cutting the carbon footprint of a product, or using sustainably-sourced ingredients. And these are not small or niche brands. Our top five brands—Knorr, Dove, Hellmann's, Lipton and Omo—are all Sustainable Living brands. What's more, we can see that it's starting to work. Our Sustainable Living brands are growing 30% faster than the rest of our portfolio and deliver over half of our growth. The tide is shifting. Consumers want to buy sustainably, they want to feel that they can achieve positive change by doing something every day, like buying their laundry powder. The brands that manage to achieve that for their consumers will have a great advantage, and in our experience, when you are driving purpose as well as profit, the journey is that much richer. So, when you put purpose first you drive growth for your busi- ness or your clients, while doing more creative and engaging work, and you do the right thing for society and for the planet. Marketers have always been pioneers. It shouldn't be a hard sell, but if anyone can do it, you can. People are telling us loud and clear what they want. How will your brand respond this year? "Our Sustainable Living brands are growing 30% faster than the rest of our portfolio, and deliver over half of our growth."

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