stakeholder BRANDS

Did you know, consumers today are taking increasing interest in the ethical practices of those they buy from? The tide is turning! Self-proclaimed missions of unicorns to deliver futuristic products and services ring hollow when they fail the very people who create and provide them. They not just end up losing money in legal battles but also damage their brands.

Creating ‘products with a purpose’ helps brands connect with these consumers and also with their own internal stakeholders. What interests consumers is the brands’ ethical vision of consumerism, which goes beyond recognizing the brand promise to proving their shared values - a true democratic approach.

The more diversity you bring to your team, the greater your chances of finding ground-breaking innovation.

Brands that will make common cause with their people, around an issue that everyone will have a stake in, will reinforce conscious consumerism and also emerge as stakeholder brands.

As consumers turn to innovative brands with the magic of on-demand and a truly ethical vision, brands will have to invest in creating an internal culture that fosters empowerment, shared values and an ethical mindset. Give your employees a meaningful stake in the company - not necessarily financial reward or equity, but celebrate them.

2017 will witness a new breed of determined start-ups proving that on-demand economy can lodge conscious consumerism.

Rewarding employees adequately, without foregoing near-magical convenience for the consumers, will be a pathbreaker. Sequentially, consumers will embrace brands that will go beyond giving perks to their employees to creating ownership and near-total transparency.

Convenience, quality and value will remain key expectations for consumers. The best way to engage and meet these expectations is by finding newer ways to allow employees to have a creative stake in what they do. This will not just ensure better output but also convey a powerful story of meaningful consumerism.

#5.1 COTOPAXI

All of US-based outdoor apparel brand Cotopaxi’s Luzon Del Dia backpacks and Del Dia Dopp kits are unique. The color combinations are selected by employees at the brand’s factory in the Philippines, according to their own preferences. The colorful bags are constructed from repurposed materials, and the design reduces the amount of fabric waste. For Fall 2016, Cotopaxi expanded the Del Dia range so that more one-off products will be assembled this way.

#5.2 COMMUNITY CLOTHING

In March 2016, Community Clothing successfully reached its crowdfunding target. Styled as a ‘new kind of cooperative’ and founded by British fashion designer Patrick Grant, the brand states that it will use seasonal ‘downtimes’ in the UK textile factories to manufacture premium clothes, using locally-sourced materials. It will reinvest profits in the British textile-working communities from which it sources its workers, helping to sustain skilled textile jobs, and restore pride in the UK textile industry.

#5.3 JUNO

Ride-sharing service Juno began to beta test in New York in May 2016, and is positioning itself as the ethical alternative to Uber. Founder Talmon Marco says that half of Juno’s founding shares have been set aside to be issued to loyal drivers on a quarterly basis, ensuring that those drivers share in the value created by the company. The app store description runs: ‘Juno treats drivers better. Drivers treat riders better. Happy drivers, happy riders.’

#5.4 JOSEPHINE

Josephine is a US-based platform that connects non-professional cooks with consumers seeking homemade meals. In August 2016, the brand announced that ‘new platform operators are evading some basic responsibilities of ethical employment’. The braznd announced plans to give 20 per cent of the company to its cooks via stock options. It also established a Cook Council: A rotating group of cooks that will regularly meet with the company’s leadership team.

Source: trendwatching.com 2017 Trends Report