The first month of 2012 is almost over, but it’s still difficult to envision what this year will look like, especially when it comes to the interaction between consumption and sustainability. One of the people who came for our help is Raphael Bemporad, the founding partner and Chief Strategy Officer of BBMG. He offered on Sustainable Brands a list of five trends that he believes will shape sustainable brands in 2012. This is a great list and we’d like to share it with you, adding our point of view as well as two more trends to watch for.
1. The Ubiquity of C2C
“In 2012, we will experience a fundamental paradigm shift from a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace to a consumer-to-business (C2B) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace -where creating, buying, selling and sharing products and services will increasingly be driven by consumers themselves.”
This is part of the transition to a green consumption 2.0, where consumers are swapping, sharing, and collaborating to find affordable solutions to meet their needs. It’s based on user-friendly digital platforms and grows exponentially also thanks to added values, such as the sense of community or satisfaction from making a better use of resources. These added values provide a good chance to see this trend growing even if the economic climate will (hopefully) get better this year.
2. The Rise of Generation “Why?”
“The rise of the C2C marketplace is driven in part by the influence of values-aspirational, practically minded New Consumers looking for brands that deliver total value: products that work well, cost less, last longer and do some good. Youthful, educated, wired and mostly female, this New Consumer is asking “why” they should care about brands.”
While most of the New Consumers probably agree on the first three characteristics of value in products (quality, cost, lifetime), only third of them “strongly agree that it’s important to purchase products with social and environmental benefits, even in a tough economy.” So the bottom line is that green benefits will probably be in 2012 a nice to have and not a necessity, even for this progressive generation.
3. The Race to Relationship
“We believe 2012 will see a race to relationship, where the most successful brands will break free of the lowest-price trap and deliver more value by empowering consumers with better products and experiences and championing their success.”