Brand Strategy

BETTER FOR YOU, BETTER FOR US

Paula Falavigna
Creative Director

February 6, 2020

It is no longer news that consumer behaviors have shifted when it comes to “better-for-you” (BFY) products. We see the shift everywhere: from ingredient labels, sourcing materials, and graphic expressions that evoke earthy, fresh and happy tones. All these elements work together to reflect consumers’ attitudes towards what it means to be healthy and wholesome.

These changes largely stem from how younger generations view the world and their conscious efforts to enact environmental change. More specifically, the Millennial generation grew up during tumultuous socioeconomic times where they were exposed to heightened concerns on the consequences of processed foods and climate change. Furthermore, younger generations are especially adept at leveraging social media to boost awareness on climate change and other key issues, which has allowed the desire and prevalence for BFY products to spread.

What is unique about BFY products and the perceptions around them is that they have collapsed the distinctions between healthy diets and eco-friendly responsibility. For the Millennial generation, these values are not placed in siloes but rather comprise a holistic perspective on shaping a better world for themselves and for subsequent generations. For example, Trader Joe’s has cultivated a cohesive brand expression where organic products and eco-friendly packaging go hand-in-hand as a way for consumers to live their best life.

Environmental benefits motivate consumers

“Environmental sustainability concerns, especially among younger consumers, can help fuel the growth of the natural and organic markets. Brands highlighting a commitment to the planet are likely to appeal to those who want to feel good about the life cycle of the products they purchase.”

Mintel, The Natural-Organic Food Shopper – US, July 2019

So, how can brands adopt this BFY strategy for their products? One solution is for brands to infuse their consumers’ mindset into their organizations and product development. Specifically, they can source materials more ethically to align with current values while also crowdsourcing for creative solutions and consumer-led innovation. For example, Catalyst Activewear leveraged crowdsourcing to determine product development and reduce the volume of unworn or unpurchased clothing in landfills. By asking consumers what activewear pieces they’d wear and which ones they wouldn’t, Catalyst Activewear was able to make better informed decisions for their products while also supporting the environment.

Patagonia also communicates the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. To date, Patagonia has adopted initiatives that encourage consumers to buy used products over new ones to reduce waste; released two documentaries to educate consumers on key environmental issues; and sued the US government to protect national parks. These are bold moves that demonstrate a true commitment to an eco-friendly and BFY lifestyle for consumers and the world. By aligning with consumers’ values on environmental stewardship and holistic wellbeing, brands can nurture loyalty and community by sharing a common vision on how we should live today and for the future.

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