Sustainability & COVID-19: What’s happening?

Mitchel White
April 30, 2020

On 30th April 2020, we held an online Zoom event for sustainable brands looking at how organisations have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and how their ability to be sustainable and talk about sustainability has been affected.

In this quick blog post, we wanted to cover some of the key takeaways from our Sustainability & COVID-19 event where we asked:

  • Has sustainability taken a back seat during the crisis?
  • Is sustainability still on the agenda for brands?
  • What are others doing to keep on track with sustainability targets?
  • What will happen with sustainability when the crisis is over?

Two sustainable business owners told us more about their experience. Here are some of the key takeaways from the event:

  • Consumers don’t want to be “bashed over the head” with sustainability and environmental issues
  • Sustainable brands are rightfully thinking about how to adapt their messaging when their audiences are living through their own crisis. Tone of voice is an essential consideration with all brand communications
  • Challenger brands are winning new customers as larger brands struggle to keep up with consumer demand especially in online food delivery sector
  • Corporate behaviour has been a key theme throughout the coverage of Coronavirus and brands who behave ethically are being championed online
  • Brands are looking to establish D2C (direct to consumer) and ecommerce models to build more meaningful relationships and own the customer experience / journey
  • Consumer behaviour has been changed dramatically with gifting becoming commonplace and every demographic spending more time online
  • Sustainability is still important but brands are concerned with how a recession might affect consumer behaviour around sustainable products and how it might affect brand choice. Will consumers have the spare money to invest in sustainable products that usually come with a higher cost?
  • Building a community online has never been more important – spend time building an audience on social media and email
  • Sustainable brands who adapt / adjust their thinking and model are thriving and have seen exponential growth in recent weeks
  • Partnerships between brands with a shared purpose or audience will be even more important in the future to help continue pushing the sustainability message whilst winning new customers and business

Thank you to Mike Hill from the UK’s first plant-based frozen pizza company One Planet Pizza and Georgia Wyatt-Lovell from wyatt & jack a sustainable British made brand, making bags and accessories from broken bouncy castles, inflatables salvaged as part of their inflatable amnesty and ex deckchair canvas, for sharing their thoughts and experience of running sustainable brands during the crisis.

We will be back with more online events in the coming weeks and months.

If you’re a sustainable brand worrying about how to communicate with your customers or audience during these very weird times, get in touch with us to discuss your communication strategy or ways we can help you survive and thrive.

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