Sustainable brands – an asset for businesses


In a market with increased competition companies have to find new ways to stand out. As Millennials and Centennials align their values and priorities with the climate crisis, brands have a responsibility – and a golden opportunity – to up their strategies to engage with these target groups. A key business asset in this relationship is design. 

Business value through sustainability and emotional design
In a competitive market, it is challenging for consumers to choose a brand, product or service. Pricing is not necessarily the heaviest factor anymore when weighing in purchase options, new attributes have to come along to make consumers return and stay loyal. One heavy contender is a brand’s sustainability profile.

Millennials (1982-1996) and Centennials (1997-2010), has grown up in a world where the environment and the planet’s health is on the agenda, and they expect companies to take responsibility. Regardless of this none of us make rational decisions – not even these two generations. This is where design comes in, as a tool for companies to assist their target groups in making sustainable decisions. 

Humans need the emotional layer
The sustainability profile of a brand needs to be obvious to the consumer’s bare eye. It needs to be consistent and strategic in its look and feel in all ensuing brand interactions – otherwise, the initial interest fades away.

Fortunately, there are tools available for this. Two examples are working with material and packaging or using psychological triggers and nudging. Humans need a visual and emotional layer that creates a feeling and experience of a sustainable company, product or service. A feeling might not seem that important but it is a crucial factor when a person goes from being a visitor to a returning customer, from understanding information to acting upon it, from agreeing with your argument to reverberating it to third parties. Studies show that a trustworthy and inspiring brand is as important, if not more, than data and a detailed production description when it comes to purchasing. 

By communicating sustainability through visual and emotional design a young and highly conscious target audience can become interested and loyal. Design should be seen as a powerful tool for positive behavior change, helping humans to make the best choice – for them and for a sustainable future.