Wanting to make the world a better place isn’t just a pipe dream voiced by beauty pageant hopefuls, it’s a worldwide movement being fueled by the conscious consumer. Patrick Cescau, a chairman of InterContinental Hotels, states that millennial consumers, “want to know the company behind a brand, its values, and what it does for society and the community.” Consumers are more cognizant of the impact of the dollars they’re spending, but is it just a generational phenomenon?
According to a 2017 study by Cone Communications, 87% of American consumers prefer to buy a product that supports an environmental or social cause over a cheaper version that doesn’t have any social impact. That number tells us that social responsibility is important to buyers from every generation, not just millennials.
With the rise of the conscious consumer comes a shift in buying habits within the promotional industry. Companies aren't looking for one-dimensional promotional products anymore — they are looking for items that will be useful, personal, and tell a story for their brand. Sourcing products that support a cause are a great storytelling tool for any brand. These products showcase a socially conscious mindset behind the brand that we know is important to the consumer market.
I will always remember 2019 as the year of the reusable straw in promo, but there’s so much more we can do. Within our industry, suppliers are taking note of this global conscious consumer mindset and responding by providing ethically sourced products, more sustainable and eco-friendly options, and products that support social and economic causes.
Promotional distributors are answering in kind by not only providing these socially responsible product options for their clients but also by donating their time and services to nonprofit groups around the country. It’s amazing to be a part of an industry answering the call to make the world a better place in our own way, one promotional product at a time.