The New Sustainable Consumer – and her search for truth
In our first ever report, we give a better understanding for why and how consumers incorporate sustainability into their consumption behaviour.
By FREDRIK EKSTRÖM Photography OLOF GRIND
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Stockholm, October 2020
Over recent months we’ve researched a large number of reports focusing on a post-pandemic world, behaviour changes, and the next normal. Throughout this research, we’ve been uncomfortable with claiming that we should already be in a post-covid situation. We aren’t, and we won’t be for a long while. The pandemic will have a huge transformative impact on us as society. Where economic, social, and psychological effects will be felt for generations. But we’ve at least arrived at a point where we are past the shock phase and now can plan for the future.
Most of the changes we’re seeing right now are actually major transformations into new lifestyle behaviours rather than shorter trends in the market. To keep track of or even participate in and influence these changes, brands need more than ever to create a strategic approach to what is happening.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ”The Next Normal” several times in the last few months. But the very essence of is rarely glimpsed. How do we define what the next normal really means? And how it affects us as consumers, brands, and society at large?
We have to future-proof our business with new and innovative strategies for branding and sustainability. It’s almost irrelevant how strong you’ve been in the past. Resting on your old loyalty base is not an option when preparing for a future where loyalty is elusive, and consumers make seismic changes on demand.
When we conducted this culture mapping and research using our network of contributors, cultural influencers, field experts, and existing reports we could see large transformations in attitude towards sustainability as a holistic perspective, with different approaches to adaptation, a change in value creation for the consumer, and how brands approach the idea of serving a larger purpose.
The New Sustainable Consumer report is an exploratory foresight report. Our purpose with understanding the New Sustainable Consumer is to create a better understanding for why and how consumers do or do not incorporate sustainability issues into their consumption behavior. We’ve researched a large amount of existing quantitative consumer reports from around the world and selected reports that have been conducted both before and during the covid-crisis, in order to get a broader view on how preferences are transforming, rather than just how they are at the moment. To get even wider perspectives of these changes we’ve also conducted a wide range of interviews with industry experts. These experts have acted as our advisors, they are individuals dedicated to sustainability and add different perspectives to their approach.
FREDRIK EKSTRÖM is Editor-at-Large for Scandinavian MIND, focusing on sustainability and branding. He’s also Advisor for Scandinavian MIND Trend Insights. He has over 15 year’s experience working with brand insights, strategies, and development. He has a background in PR and has worked for leading lifestyle brands and award-winning agencies. For the last six years he’s been responsible for the brand direction of Tretorn and established a consumer-centric approach to sustainability and international collaborations.