Is Your Company Planet-Friendly? And do Consumers Care?

How to Meet Target’s Sustainable Product Labeling Challenge

Sustabinability and planet-friendly business practices have become a global macro trend which continues to grow in importance.   Last year saw the publication of Target’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report which detailed key sustainability goals.  That report stated:  “At Target, we aim to leverage our size, scale and reach to positively impact the communities in which we serve and operate.  To go beyond our own operations and our vendors, we leverage strategic partnerships and collaborations to provide innovative solutions to the most pressing issues we face today.”  In short, Target renewed its challenge to its suppliers to be earth-friendly, sustainable and socially responsible.  

Is this important to consumers?   The answer is a resounding YES.  81% of global respondents said it is "extremely" or "very" important that companies implement programs to improve the environment (Conference Board 2017).   In research Design Research conducted this year we found the same number, 81%, of consumers report they are "definitely" or "probably" more likely to buy a product from a company that clearly communicates their environmental or sustainability credentials in their marketing or packaging.

We've helped some of our clients respond to Target’s goals and to develop the right messaging for their products.  A key goal was to understand how consumer needs and wants aligned with the Target goals.  What matters to consumers?  Is it how the product is made?  Is it company labor practices?  Is it how the product is packaged and shipped?  
We tested new taglines that reflected an earth-friendly, sustainability positioning.  We tested new logos to see which one best supported the best new tagline.  We tested new packaging symbols/icons.  Each icon was mean to communicate something sustainable, earth-friendly or otherwise desirable (such as fair trade).  As with packaging or communications studies, our goals in testing these taglines, logos and symbols was not just to pick the ones consumers liked best visually, but also to select the ones that best communicated the desired messages.  

We certainly don't see this macro-trend losing momentum anytime soon.  Don't get left behind.  Call or email us today to find out how to best align your products, packaging, marketing, and selling pitches with a planet-friendly focus.