Sustainability & Purpose: PAVE the Path to Purchase

Purposeful Purchase Journeys, the new research from Kantar & IPG Mediabrands, shows how brands can drive both shopper behaviour change and sales uplift through effective sustainability marketing.

The 2020s are a make-or-break decade for climate action, and marketing has a critical part to play. In a world of greenwashing and greenhushing, the need for nuanced understanding of how, when, and why to promote a brand’s sustainability credentials has never been greater. And yet, a recent Kantar-WFA survey found just 10% of marketers claimed their companies are “well advanced” on the sustainability journey.

This presents a missed opportunity. Kantar’s Global Issues Barometer 2022 found that 64% of consumers believe that businesses have a responsibility to solve climate and environmental issues and are looking to brands for leadership on sustainability.

Additionally, the same study found that 67% of shoppers want to buy environmentally sustainable products, but believe brands need to make the “greener” choice also the “easier” choice from an availability or cost point of view.

Clearly there is an opportunity for sustainability to be a driver of both short-term sales and long-term brand equity as well an important tool to support future business success.

Purposeful Purchase Journeys, a study conducted by Kantar in partnership with IPG Mediabrands, demonstrates that brands can be both purposeful and profitable by leveraging sustainability throughout the path-to-purchase.

By analysing consumer purchase decisions across five key verticals – meat-free food, home electronics, finance, beauty and sportswear – the study found that sustainability concerns are drivers for both brand affinity and purchase consideration among consumers, to varying degrees depending on the audience and category.

The findings are based on online surveys undertaken with more than 5,000 UK shoppers, aged 18 and over. The large sample size allowed us to identify different behavioural patterns at brand level and within demographic groups, and to quantify the role that sustainability plays in each of the five categories.

This article was published exclusively on on April 22, 2024.