We all know the importance of having a brand, a visible sign that allows others to identify us and stand out from our competitors, but have you ever thought about the responsibility that this also entails?
Beyond the legal and purely commercial spectrum of it, in recent years and in an accentuated way since last year, brands have become a benchmark of responsibility and social awareness of those to whom it belongs. Sales, cost, origin or quality of products or services are no longer enough, today the consumer demands more, even when it carries a higher cost or a longer time of expects in the satisfaction of their need or desire.
Holding a brand makes us responsible for the quality of the products and services we offer. In this time of so many changes, our buying habits changed radically and the demand was conditioned towards companies with a “responsible identity”, meaning that they must have a business vision based on respect for people, beliefs, sexual preferences, ethical values, the community, the environment, compliance with the law and the sustainability of future generations.
Technological progress has shortened the distance between the supplier and the buyer, in such way that a slight mistake or oversight can even lead a brand to an abrupt exit from the market. Companies have proposed to connect with this “new or renewed consumer” because more than ever their future depends on them.
We change the large super market chains for small and local businesses, we prefer those that are natural or artisanal and cause less damage to the environment, we opt for reputable companies and effective and reliable e-commerce. Because being at home allowed us to pay more attention to our buying habits and the footprint that this was leaving on society and the environment. Some companies managed to adapt to this revitalized consumer, from providing a more humane service, effective customer responses, the use of sustainable inputs, to local manufacturing, and those are just a few of these changes.
According to a publication in the Financial Times newspaper from June 2020, among the 20 companies that stood out despite the pandemic (and also thanks to it) are Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Paypal, Shoppify, Tencent, Nvidia, Alphabet, Netflix, Zoom Video, Abbvie, Ben & Frank, among others; companies that invariably adapted to new consumer buying habits. However, the real winners were those that managed to adapt efficiently to the new consumer requirements, regardless of whether or not they managed to appear in a broad coverage rank. Today more than ever, companies committed to building a brand with a responsible identity are recognized and those that haven’t are invited to do so or otherwise, will be doomed to failure in the face of new success and satisfaction metrics and as consumers we must continue to externalize our needs and in this way guide companies towards the construction or redesign of their responsible identity.
We can conclude that the responsibility is shared: as a company, you are obligated to have a responsible identity and, as a consumer, promote smart consumption and support these brands that have adapted to the radical changes that this “new reality” has brought to the market.