Putting consumers at the heart of ESG strategy: A framework to deliver meaningful impact

The pressure for businesses to demonstrate that they are taking ESG seriously has never been more real

As the evidence piles up that our past behaviours have had far-reaching social and environmental consequences, consumers are taking a stand. The era of conscious consumerism has morphed into one of consumer activism. Consumers and legislators alike are demanding change. But navigating the ever-evolving ESG landscape is tough. Whether as a new start-up or multi-national business, choices need to be made on where to invest to make a difference. Acting without ESG in mind is no longer an option.

To mark the launch of our latest whitepaper, ‘Putting the Consumer at the heart of ESG strategy’, we share key insights from our proprietary research into consumer perspectives on ESG and implications for businesses who want to drive real impact in this space.

Understanding consumer attitudes and behaviours towards ESG is vital

Here are some of the key findings from our research:

1 / Ethical and sustainable factors have become increasingly important in influencing purchase decisions over the past three years

In fact, three quarters of consumers in the US and UK would now prefer to purchase ethical/sustainable products over less ethical or sustainable alternatives.

2 / While consumers demand better from brands, they aren’t always prepared to pay for it – in time, effort, money or some other form of sacrifice

Two thirds of consumers say that the higher prices that more ethical or sustainable products often command is the primary barrier to them opting for these alternatives. And only a third would choose a brand that suited their needs less if it was better for the planet or society.

3 / There is no one size fits all approach for building an ESG strategy

We have found that consumer priorities vary depending on what they are buying.

At Incite, we believe putting customers at the heart of your ESG strategy is key to transforming businesses for the better. Not only does an effective ESG strategy tick the legislative boxes, it gives brands greater purpose and makes customers feel better about the brands they align themselves with.

We have devised a framework to help businesses adopt a more consumer-centric approach to ESG decision-making. The framework can help businesses understand where certain activities and initiatives lie across a spectrum of positive and negative impact and consumer pain or gain, allowing brands to devise more effective initiatives and propositions to help them maximise the impact of their ESG strategies.

By applying a consumer-centric lens to ESG strategy creation and deployment, businesses have the potential to make a genuine difference to the lives of consumers, society and – importantly – the future health and wealth of their brands.

You can find out more about the framework in our latest whitepaper.

Want to get in touch to find out more about our proprietary ESG research? Get in touch.