Planet Papers: A brand new world

Companies are having to innovate and evolve in order to engage with the shifting attitudes — as well as the changing spending habits — of a new generation of consumers. Far from interrupting these trends, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated them.

How consumer behaviour can reshape our planet

This new generation of consumers are more likely to express a strong interest in social engagement, purpose and values than their predecessors, and the disruption that COVID-19 has wrought across the globe seems to have strengthened the demand for a more sustainable approach.

This shift presents both challenges and opportunities for traditional brands as we look ahead to the post-pandemic world.

A mindset of what has been dubbed agile long-termism is needed in this ‘brand’ new world. For consumer brands that means remaining resolutely focused on long-term vision and values, while being more tactical and nimble in response to the changing patterns of consumer behaviour

Why companies should care about the planet

While there has been some evidence that these emerging consumers may be less loyal to established brands than older generations, we are confident that many of today’s major consumer goods companies — which form such an important part of many investment portfolios — can survive and even thrive by recognising and adapting to the rapidly changing consumer landscape. Indeed, since the COVID crisis struck, incumbent brands in general appear to be gaining ground.
 
As our head of stewardship Matt Crossman pointed out in the first of our Planet Papers: A responsible recovery the pandemic has highlighted the weaknesses of the old way of doing things. Yet it could also be a catalyst for accelerating the move towards a more responsible capitalism, and an opportunity for companies to direct their investment towards building a more sustainable future for their customers and themselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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