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Sustainability & inexperienced worth chain for the tech & durables sector

Sustainability has change into a necessity somewhat than a ‘good to have’ for the buyer know-how and durables sector. That’s why now could be the best time for manufacturers and retailers to leap – earlier than they’re pushed. 

It wasn’t so way back that sustainability was a comparatively area of interest promoting level. Solely a handful of manufacturers have been championing their eco-credentials, and acutely aware consumerism was in its infancy. Now, after all, that’s all modified. There’s not any doubt that the social and environmental affect of a product performs a key function in relation to shopper buy choices. This in flip adjustments what individuals will purchase, the place they’ll purchase and the way a lot they’ll spend. The patron know-how and durables trade is not any exception. 

Greater than three quarters (77%) of world shoppers now imagine that it’s essential that corporations take environmentally accountable actions, whereas 62% say they’ll actively select one model over one other due to its assist for a specific trigger. You’ll be able to learn extra about shopper attitudes towards sustainability right here.


Compounding that is the rising regulatory strain on each manufacturers and retailers to take motion on sustainability, strain that solely seems to be set to speed up within the coming years. In truth, in markets such because the UK, rigorous new environmental reporting requirements that require companies to reveal their affect to buyers are quickly set to return into drive.  

In different phrases, there has by no means been a extra pressing time for corporations to behave. 

In opposition to this backdrop of demand from each their prospects and governments, shopper know-how and durables have an unprecedented alternative to take a stand. In different sectors, comparable to trend or food and drinks, there are a raft of manufacturers already proactively advertising and marketing merchandise off the again of their inexperienced report. Lots of that are in a position to cost a premium on account of this alignment with shopper values too (for extra on tapping into the premiumization development, learn our article right here). 

However within the shopper know-how and durables sector, this place out there remains to be up for grabs. Our shopper knowledge out there on gfknewron reveals that at the moment, just one.6 out of 10 washer manufacturers are thought-about eco-friendly, for example.


The unhealthy information is that this implies enterprise determination makers on this sector are lacking out on a golden alternative. The excellent news is that it’s all left to play for.  

In truth, as strain ramps up, now could be the best time for a forward-thinking model or retailer to take motion. To determine themselves as a sector chief on sustainability. And to seize the primary mover benefits that go along with such a step. 

How can manufacturers cement a sustainable popularity?

  1. Combine sustainability right into a product’s DNA
    A single eco-friendly product or marketing campaign gained’t reduce it. To attain true credibility, enterprise determination makers in shopper know-how and durables have to weave sustainability by each side of their enterprise. That features all the pieces from sourcing, to advertising and marketing, to the nuts and bolts of their product portfolio. A dedication to sustainability must be factored into each determination or it dangers superficiality. That may’t be achieved in a single day, after all. It’s a posh job that can require a collection of incremental adjustments by the C-suite over a time frame. However that doesn’t negate the urgency of creating a begin now. 
  2. Prioritize credibility
    It is perhaps tempting in these preliminary phases when progress may be gradual, however be cautious of utilizing obscure advertising and marketing phrases or any unsubstantiated claims. Shoppers are more and more savvy on what constitutes a genuinely sustainable product and descriptions that represent ‘greenwashing’ can do appreciable hurt to a model’s popularity. Even worse, it may possibly see an organization fall foul of rising laws that concentrate on claims not backed up by proof. It’s much better to be clear and open with shoppers on the achievements thus far – and the place there’s nonetheless work left to do. 
  3. Contemplate the entire worth chain
    Simply as a single eco-friendly product gained’t obtain sustainability for the model as an entire, failing to think about all of the totally different components of the worth chain will stymie how a lot distinction an organization can actually make. Corporations want to think about the full environmental affect of their worth chain – from sourcing and manufacturing to distribution, shopper use and disposal.   Quite than act in isolation, take into account the right way to leverage partnerships elsewhere within the provide chain. That might imply a retailer working alongside its suppliers to scale back carbon emissions linked to delivery. Or manufacturers utilizing their dialogue with finish shoppers to teach them on the right way to eliminate electronics in a extra sustainable method. The choices listed below are fairly countless. 
  4. Craft a ‘Sustainability+’ message
    There are many alternatives in shopper know-how and durables to align the sustainability of a product with its inherent performance too. In doing so it’s potential to create a extra compelling ‘Sustainability+’ message, with larger credibility and resonance. In each main and small home home equipment, for instance, the standard and due to this fact longevity of a tool has clear hyperlinks to eco-friendliness, requiring much less frequent substitute or restore. Combine this component into any broader messaging across the eco-friendliness of a product.

Talking out on sustainability

Now could be the time for manufacturers and retailers in shopper know-how and durables to ramp up their efforts on sustainability. As shopper curiosity grows and regulatory strain intensifies,  corporations not solely have to share their progress on environmental and social affect of their yearly sustainability stories, however make sustainability a number one dimension of their strategic determination making. The profit? These C-suite leaders that leap earlier than they’re pushed will acquire the primary mover benefit.  

It has by no means been extra essential to intently monitor what issues to shoppers, together with their considerations about sustainability, utilizing instruments comparable to GfK’s personal gfknewron. To debate your particular strategic challenges on sustainability and to drive your sustainability agenda, attain out to gfkconsult consultants.  

Be taught extra about methods and options that may aid you navigate by the uncertainty of an already risky market.

Download our State of Consumer Technology and Durables Report




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