A lot is being said and done about sustainability and sustainable marketing, with the terms being extensively used in the market since the last few years. CEO’s, endorsers, brands and academicians are frequently talking about this subject, but the question is: Are Indians really concerned about it? Are customers comfortable in paying higher price in the name of sustainability? Do they examine the products on the sustainability benchmarks before making a purchase?
According to a recent research, people who are born between the period of 1996-2010, consider sustainability as a means of combining ‘green’ with ‘social wellbeing’ such as equality, inclusiveness etc. The purchase decisions depend on the image of the company a consumer has created in his mind. The perception is usually influenced by looking at the social and environmental initiatives taken by the brand.
Since the last two years, Covid-19 pandemic has played a crucial role in determining the consumption pattern of individuals. The minimalistic trend has taken over rapid purchasing habits with ‘less is good’ becoming the guiding principle for some. For others, ‘brands that do well’ for the society have become a preferable purchasing option.
The marketers that were seen as ‘taking care’ of their customers, employees as well as partners such as vendors won hearts during the pandemic. Brands that used marketing communications to link ‘sustainability’ during the tough times of the pandemic as a character of ‘survival’ also gained massive public sympathy.
The sustainability trend has evolved so much that now marketers who are not following it have come under pressure to become sustainable. Major apparel brands like Zara and H&M have dedicated a line to sustainable items in their portfolio, FMCG companies are also doing the same through their packaging. However, there is only a meager percentage of population that is following the path of sustainably, and maximum are still unaware of it. On top of that, the era of ‘fast fashion’ has added fuel to the fire.
Today, the convenience of plastics has led to massive landfills across the country, contaminating our lands. Despite the increased awareness of the ecological-concerns, marketers continue to entice consumers with non-sustainable products since it is cheaper than sustainable items. In order to increase consumer awareness, the brands need to relocate resources towards better business practices, becoming more responsible to build a sustainable ecosystem.
Planning and implementation should be carried out considering its long term effect on the environment and the profitability should be matched with non-monetary aspects as well. The marketer can collaborate with one another to create a faster impact on the mainstream consumer behavior.