Sustainability, but not as you know it… 

Hands up who’s noticed a huge swing towards sustainability amongst the big FMCG campaigns of late? It’s awesome isn’t it? The two most prominent examples that come to mind are the Kathmandu NXT Level Bio Down Jacket that naturally biodegrades when exposed to the right conditions in landfill, and the Vanish Stain Remover campaign that claims to help reduce waste by helping us keep our clothes in use for longer and claiming the hashtag #maketextilewastevanish.

These two are just the tip of the iceberg in the raft of big businesses shifting their focus to a more visible sustainability-conscious consumer perception. In a world where having three types of waste bins in your cafeteria was considered ‘doing your bit’, the landscape (and climate) has definitely changed, and to remain relevant, business needs to move the needle too.

Why the sustainability shift? 

One of the big reasons for this seemingly sudden shift, is the rise of both GenY and GenZ. As Boomers and GenXers age, so does their impact on culture diminish, and similarly, GenY become more prominent as their stage of life starts to hit important milestones where their buying power reaches a more varied range of industry than the magnetic lash space they used to spend in. Now these Millennials are marrying, buying and building homes, having babies, investing in their futures, and altogether becoming a lot more conscious about the world they live in and the power they have to influence the trajectory culture takes. They are demanding more transparency from the brands they support around exactly how those brands are making an impact for a better future.

GenZ are the same, but on steroids… 

Where Millennials grew up with tech in a way that no previous generation ever did, Z’s were born into it. They were nursed by mums with a smart phone in their free hand, and screens were part of their normality since birth. They don’t demand responsibility from the brands they interact with, they just expect it. And if it isn’t there, they’ll move on faster than you can say “purpose”.

So how does this relate to small business and what does it all mean for businesses like yours? 

Let me give you a little example of just one of our clients, Jinndi. These guys design, make and sell wraps and clothing for babies printed with original and authentic Aboriginal designs that tell the story of their culture. They started the business to help keep the stories of their ancestors alive from generation to generation. Their primary audience are the mums who want to support the brand’s intention by dressing their babies in Jinndi designs. Those mums now, are generally Gen Y’s who respond to a purchase journey that is “More efficient, more respectful of their time, easier, more reliable, more transparent, with more choices and more control for the customer.” Source: Forbes

However, this generation is ageing (as we all are), and now range between 25-40 years of age, which puts GenZ hot on their heels. The fact is, in this next generation, the top end of them are hitting their mid-twenties and are starting to get married, have kids and do all those things too – BUT, the way they like to shop is totally different. These guys are ‘omnichannel’ shoppers meaning they prefer to experience a brand in a bricks and mortar retail environment, as well as online where they can hunt for a competitive price. For Jinndi, this means to remain relevant and continue to grow, they need to be strategic and start laying plans for the future of their business and buying channels to pave the way for growth and sustained sales figures as the generations pass the baton along.

In short, every generation ages. 

Their tastes and interests change, and unless you’re selling oxygen, there will likely come a time when they won’t need you anymore. So think about this: What kind of future do you want for your brand? If you want to thrive now and into the future, (which I’m fairly certain you do), then you need to be on the front-foot implementing change sooner rather than later. Keeping up has never been more important than it is today in the business landscape. 

Whether your business is product or service based, there are plenty of things you can be doing to earn cred in the eyes of your audience and appease their preferred buying journey.

Use our helpful infographic to find out what generation your audience is from so that you can do some Google searching of your own and see what you can find out about their buying behaviours. We’d love to know of any epiphanies you have! And of course we are always here to help.