Consumers increasingly value sustainability at brands

Despite the crisis, consumers are also more willing to pay extra for sustainability this year. This is evident from the Monitor Merk en Maatschappij 2020 from b-open and MarketResponse.

Sustainability in brands is increasingly appreciated by consumers

Three quarters of consumers believe it is important that companies play a social role by contributing to society, the environment and people’s well-being. Slightly more than half of consumers (53%) pay attention to this social role or sustainability when purchasing products or services. This trend has steadily increased in recent years, but will stabilize in 2020. That can be explained, says Bart Br├╝ggenwirth of b-open. “On the one hand, the corona crisis has led to almost one in three consumers consuming more consciously or sustainably. On the other hand, the economic recession associated with the crisis means that some consumers pay less attention to sustainability. These effects offset each other, “said Br├╝ggenwirth.

Less advertising fatigue

Advertising about sustainability has become more appreciated: the number of people who have had enough of such advertisements has decreased from 42% last year to 36% this year. Skepticism regarding sustainability claims has remained the same: 43% distrust them. Good substantiation and concrete evidence of this therefore remain important.

Consumers want to contribute to a better world

The motivation of consumers to consume responsibly or to buy sustainable products is intrinsic. They indicate that they mainly want to contribute to a better world and do so to a much lesser extent to benefit from it themselves, for example because it provides extra status. Despite this intrinsic motivation to consume responsibly, consumers are poorly informed about the Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. One in three knows what the Climate Agreement entails; for the SDGs this is only one in ten.

Sentiment of sustainable brands increasingly positive

Gerrit Piksen of MarketResponse notes that sentiment regarding the social role and sustainability of brands is becoming increasingly positive. “More and more consumers find this important and open to it. For companies it offers opportunities not only to gain and retain trust, but also customers. However, the social role of companies should not be a marketing sauce, but really come from the heart of the company, “says Piksen.

Top 10

In the eyes of consumers, Greenchoice, Tony’s Chocolonely and Tesla are the three companies that, according to Dutch consumers, contribute most to solving social problems. They score the highest from a list of 60 major well-known brands and a few sustainable niche players. The top 10 is as follows:

1. Greenchoice

2. Tony’s Chocolonely

3. Tesla

4. Vattenfall

5. NS


7. ASN Bank

8. Eneco

9. Essent

10. FrieslandCampina


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