Friday, 04 December 2015 08:23

Responsible brands are big business in South Africa, says study

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It is no longer only wealthy suburbanites in developed markets who willing to pay for sustainable offerings It is no longer only wealthy suburbanites in developed markets who willing to pay for sustainable offerings
Brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability now have real meaning for consumers and the resultant ability to provide healthy returns for manufacturers and retailers alike. This is according to the 2015 ‘Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report’, which says that 68% of South African consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from companies showing a commitment to positive social and environmental impact. The local figure is marginally higher than the global average of 66% (which rose from an average of 55% in 2014). “Sustainability is a worldwide concern that continues to gain momentum, especially in countries where growing populations are putting additional stress on the environment,” says Allen Burch, Managing Director of Nielsen Africa. “Consumer brands that haven’t embraced sustainability are at risk on many fronts. Social responsibility is a critical part of proactive reputation management and companies with strong reputations outperform others when it comes to attracting top talent, investors, community partners and, importantly, consumers.” An interesting insight to emerge from the global study is that it’s also no longer just wealthy suburbanites in major markets willing to open their wallets for sustainable offerings. Consumers across regions, income levels, and categories are willing to pay more, if doing so ensures they remain loyal to their values. “Sustainability sentiment is particularly consistent across income levels. On a broader scale this has seen sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability have grown more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%,” says Nielsen.
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