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Sustainability & inexperienced worth chain for the tech & durables sector

Sustainability has turn into a necessity somewhat than a ‘good to have’ for the patron know-how and durables sector. That’s why now’s 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 had been championing their eco-credentials, and acutely aware consumerism was in its infancy. Now, after all, that’s all modified. There’s now not any doubt that the social and environmental affect of a product performs a key function relating to shopper buy selections. This in flip adjustments what folks will purchase, the place they’ll purchase and the way a lot they’ll spend. The buyer 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 selected trigger. You’ll be able to learn extra about shopper attitudes towards sustainability right here.


Compounding that is the rising regulatory stress on each manufacturers and retailers to take motion on sustainability, stress that solely seems set to speed up within the coming years. In reality, 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 power.  

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 clients and governments, shopper know-how and durables have an unprecedented alternative to take a stand. In different sectors, equivalent to trend or foods and drinks, there are a raft of manufacturers already proactively advertising and marketing merchandise off the again of their inexperienced file. 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 available in the market remains to be up for grabs. Our shopper information 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 resolution makers on this sector are lacking out on a golden alternative. The excellent news is that it’s all left to play for.  

In reality, as stress ramps up, now’s the best time for a forward-thinking model or retailer to take motion. To ascertain 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 received’t reduce it. To realize true credibility, enterprise resolution makers in shopper know-how and durables have to weave sustainability by way of each facet of their enterprise. That features every little thing from sourcing, to advertising and marketing, to the nuts and bolts of their product portfolio. A dedication to sustainability must be factored into each resolution or it dangers superficiality. That may’t be achieved in a single day, after all. It’s a fancy 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 likely to be tempting in these preliminary levels when progress might be gradual, however be cautious of utilizing obscure advertising and marketing phrases or any unsubstantiated claims. Customers 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 might see an organization fall foul of rising rules that focus on claims not backed up by proof. It’s much better to be clear and open with shoppers on the achievements to this point – and the place there may be nonetheless work left to do. 
  3. Contemplate the entire worth chain
    Simply as a single eco-friendly product received’t obtain sustainability for the model as a complete, failing to think about all of the completely different elements of the worth chain will stymie how a lot distinction an organization can actually make. Firms want to think about the entire environmental affect of their worth chain – from sourcing and manufacturing to distribution, shopper use and disposal.   Relatively than act in isolation, think about how one can 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 coach them on how one can get rid of electronics in a extra sustainable means. The choices listed below are fairly infinite. 
  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 better credibility and resonance. In each main and small home home equipment, for instance, the standard and subsequently longevity of a tool has clear hyperlinks to eco-friendliness, requiring much less frequent alternative or restore. Combine this component into any broader messaging across the eco-friendliness of a product.

Talking out on sustainability

Now’s 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 stress 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 resolution making. The profit? These C-suite leaders that leap earlier than they’re pushed will achieve the primary mover benefit.  

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

Study extra about methods and options that may assist you navigate by way of the uncertainty of an already risky market.

Download our State of Consumer Technology and Durables Report




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