Contributing, when the consumer changes marketing

Because the consumer is demanding, most of the time uncompromising. Because today, only communication of proof finds favor in his eyes. Because his expectations are constantly evolving ... More than ever, brands must stand out for their purpose and commitments. 🙌 These new issues of approaching consumers require rethinking business communication, using new, more citizen-oriented approaches. 🙏 So is the marketing of the past really dead? In a way, yes. But do not panic, dear communicators, now is the time to contribute! The contributor, quésaco? 🤔 Quite simply the heir of marketing, its new version, defending more the idea of ​​responsible growth than that of consumerist growth. For this, it is important that the evolution of business models correspond to the evolution of consumer aspirations.

Olivia grégoire, Secretary of State for the Social Economy, Solidarity and Responsibility, shared his analysis with us: « Capitalism has changed, is changing and has yet to change. We are currently living through an exciting period of transition, at the crossroads of consumer society and responsibility. The dictatorship of the low price is gradually receding in favor of ethics and commitment. To achieve this responsible transition under the best conditions, the State provides companies with a platform for warming up extra-financial performance: impact.gouv.fr which is a real tool, where everyone is free to share their knowledge and experiences in terms of environmental, social, responsible impacts, etc.. "

Also to stay in the game, the team We Are COM shares with you the results of the second edition of the Agency's Contributing Barometer W, in partnership withCSA Institute and Club of Advertisers. Are you ready for some decryption of the "post daddy" world? 🤓

The Neo-Consumption Contributing Trends Barometer

# 1 - The new power of citizen consumers ♻️

In France, 70% of workers and 84% of executives say they are ready to abandon a brand that they do not consider responsible enough. In this new economy, the consumer plays a fundamental role, and is fully aware of it, since 57% of French people believe that they are the players most able to change society. While only 36% attribute this role to the government, and only 23% to large companies. Journalists, for their part, do not exceed the 5% mark. 

More than ever, the consumer thinks and acts as a citizen, his expectations are multiple. Here are the TOP expectations of the French in terms of contribution:

  • 38%: the environment and eco-responsibility
  • 13%: products
  • 11%: made in France
  • 11%: CSR
  • 10%: HR policy
  • 8%: the relationship with the consumer
  • 6%: confidence in the broad sense

These new citizen consumers say almost unanimously - 90% - that they are able to change their purchasing habits, by turning to brands that favor:

  • Made in France
  • Ethics, throughout the production chain 
  • Environmental impact
  • The responsibility
  • The economic development of the territories

Then come demands such as organic (79%), associative involvement (79%), or the diversification of product lines (72%).

Another interesting and emerging data: delivery times would encourage 49% of respondents to turn to one brand rather than another. This figure reaches 70% for the 12-24 age group.

In France, 70% of workers and 84% of executives say they are ready to abandon a brand that they do not consider responsible enough

# 2 - The search for meaning ????

The majority of French people (56%) consider that meaning is, and should be, the top priority of any brand. The positive contribution of a company is no longer to be taken lightly. 

The study also reveals that brand names, which are inherently meaningful, are consumer favorites. The mission seems better understood when it is understood by a title evocative of an explicit mark. Thus we find on the podium of “brands deemed to be contributory” the brands: Biocoop, Leboncoin, Jardiland, Vinted and Gamme Vert. 

# 3 - Proximity, environment and society: the new challenges for brands 🎯

When the French were surveyed on the brands that most contribute to improving society, 4 major trends stand out. Here is what emerges from the TOP 15 contributory companies:

  • With the health crisis and the resulting confinements, the French have refocused on their loved ones, their leisure activities and their well-being. So the sectors that improve our living spaces, house and garden, stand out more than ever: Jardiland, Green Range, Leroy Merlin. 
  • Large and medium distribution also stand out. Biocoop, E.Leclerc and Intermarché are considered to be engaged. These brands have the common feature of promoting the collective and the cooperative, more or less deeply rooted in the local economy. 
  • It is also interesting to observe that the second hand is popular. Brands with promises that are both economic and ecological, while generating a strong social bond, are doing well. It is in a way a neo-proximity offered by brands such as Leboncoin or Vinted. Today, 25,4 million French people buy second-hand products. 
  • Finally, the companies of public service regain their image. It would seem that the French have fully realized the usefulness, the very necessity, of these major players in our daily lives. Thus, in this TOP 15 of the ranking, we find: EDF, SNCF, La Poste or even Engie.

# 4 - What about tomorrow's trends? ????

In our opinion, the figure to remember is: 62% of French people plan to consume as much as they do today in 5 years. The good news is that it confirms their willingness to contribute. However, this desire of consumers to consume as much does not show a quantitative change but rather a qualitative one: to consume differently, in a more responsible way. These new consumers are reviewing their expectations with regard to the quality / price ratio. The ultra low price is no longer attractive as before, now we see that it is the "fair" price that matters in this report.  

  • 51% say they will consume more local products 
  • 48% say they will consume more products made in France 
  • 39% say they will reduce their electricity consumption 
  • 36% say they will consume more organic products 
  • 34% say they will boycott non-responsible brands 
  • 30% say they will practice zero waste 
  • 29% say they will abandon a brand that does not pay its taxes in France 
  • 27% say they will find out about a brand online before buying
  • 24% say they will consume more second-hand products 

Two strong emerging trends should be taken into consideration: the French believe that they consume less meat (33%), as well as take less airplanes (50%), over the next few years. 

Note that, according to those surveyed, the pleasure purchase will not tend to disappear. 94% of French people say that they will continue to make purchases "whim", often for 17% of them, and from time to time, for 41%. 

62% of French people plan to consume as much as they do today in 5 years

😉 What do we remember? 

We retain that the citizen consumer is ready to be proactive. It is important for the latter to become an actor in things and strong in proposals. 👉 The “4Ps” of the marketing mix, so dear to Philip Kolter (product, price, place and promotion) are supplanted by the “3Cs”: consumer, employee and citizen. These are at the heart of all the challenges of tomorrow. A final positive number? 71% of French people say they are ready to get involved with brands, to help them in their quest for responsibility. 

ZOOM on 5 brands in full transition

🏅 The contributing: consumer arbitrator: myth or reality?

Case # 1: Biocoop 

according to Claire Bourdon, Marketing director of the Biocoop cooperative, the consumer is now aware of the power that is in his hands. If this company is considered one of the most contributing brands in the Barometer, it is because of its DNA. Originally, this sign was not really a brand, but rather a cooperative, carrying a strong project. The desire to make a transition, at the same time ecological, economic, social and united, drives the employees of Biocoop. Once again, the fair price matters more than the low price. 

Claire Bourdon specifies that the communication of proof is not negligible. We must certainly work on this transition on a daily basis, but also and above all provide concrete proof of this work to consumers. Its leitmotif? Do a lot and say the same, to always encourage citizens to take action, to get to the end of things. The cooperative model is therefore very specific because everyone can and must be proactive, making a contribution.

Do a lot and say the same

Case # 2: Jardiland and Green Range (InVivo group)

Guillaume Darrasse, Managing Director of InVivo Retail (in particular Jardiland and Gamme Vert), also believes that the arbitrator is today embodied by the consumer and his changing values. Their advantage at InVivo? The triple proximity, at the same time geographical, human and practical. In fact, the Group is present in all regions, even the most remote. In addition, it makes it a point of honor to optimize human support, particularly within its points of sale. Finally, its market touches on the beautification of our living environments, it encourages and initiates self-production. 

Their DNA, " act so that everyone has access to the benefits of nature », Speaks to the French. The Group's brands are considered to have a positive impact, both in terms of product value and the well-being value provided. Guillaume Darrase adds thatit is important to be in a process of continuous improvement. No one is perfect, but you have to dare to make commitments, stick to them and always provide tangible proof.

No one is perfect, nevertheless you have to dare to make commitments, stick to them and always provide tangible proof.

For Estelle Mege, General Manager Retail Architecture of the W agency, two essential points should be remembered regarding the role of the consumer. 

On the one hand, great opportunities lie in the consumer must now be included in the strategic thoughts. And this, not only when the project is successful, but from its development, and throughout its implementation. On the other hand, we must now bet everything on neo-proximity. For too long, retail limited proximity to a geographic criterion. While in reality, proximity depends on the sincerity and humility of the companies. The symmetry of intentions has become the key to any contributing campaign.

🏆 The contributor: effective lever? 

Case # 3: the Accor group

The recovery can only be responsible, says Laurence Bordry, VP Innovation Lab Marketing of the Accor group and President of the Club des Annonceurs. Accor represents 52 brands, with more than 240.000 employees in 110 countries. The complexity of playing on the collective is not a new issue for this hotel and travel giant. Their field directly affecting people and their well-being, Florence Bordry affirms that for many years now, Accor has been contributing without knowing it, committed to gender parity, the LGBT movement, disability, the local, etc.

She adds thatit is essential to remain pragmatic, that small actions lead to big things. Yes, contributing is an effective lever. The important thing is to remain humble in order to best share and transmit your convictions.

Previously, the communication initiated was only expressed once the expected results had been achieved. From now on, we must integrate the consumer from the start of the process, keep him informed of our roadmap, report to him the steps taken. We must always move forward together. The culture of confidentiality should be banned from communication strategies. Contributing is knowing how to open up to everyone.

The recovery can only be responsible

Case # 4: the SNCF group

As for Stephane Chery, Director of the brand, advertising and partnerships of the SNCF group and member of the Club We Are COM, it highlights one observation: the will of the French to participate in the economy.

Indeed, according to him, consumers express le desire to play a role in the economy. More and more, the French encourage companies to make choices, to make commitments. Within the SNCF, there is a desire to collaborate with everyone, to co-construct. Present in stations, trains, hotels, rentals, etc. the transport group is increasing the number of highly targeted partnerships. According to Stéphane Chéry, contributing is THE virtuous lever: it raises awareness of new customers, attracts the best employees and enables the partners to be found most in line with the brand's raison d'être and the aspirations of its consumers.

Travel is a social lever that reconciles both people and regions. This was confirmed during recent events which may have undermined certain freedoms. Today, it is important to rethink mobility, the French expect an intelligent and responsible offer. Growth must be, and will be, carbon-free.

The French encourage companies to make choices, to make commitments

Case # 5: Grant Thornton

Last but not least, Robert dambo, Chairman of Grant Thornton, an international audit and advisory group, adds that we all need to be change entrepreneurs. Their brand DNA is at the service of growth since the company supports companies and by extension, society, in its transformation.

The essential for Robert Dambo lies in listening, and in particular listening to young people, their convictions and their expectations. When setting up a strategy CSR, which ultimately encompasses multiple social and environmental issues (disability, parity, diversity, responsibility, etc.) it is essential to communicate. We must constantly demonstrate what we say and what we do: do and know-how. The subjects that preoccupied us already 5 years ago are still at the center of our problems. It's time to redouble our efforts and accelerate the transformation. 

President Grant Thornton concludes by explaining that the raison d'être of each individual lies in his accomplishment on earth, more broadly than his purely professional accomplishment. When management obeys a policy of trust and benevolence, then it participates in the personal achievement of each. The achievement of intellectual performance, properly operated, provides well-being and satisfaction to all stakeholders in society.

We must all be entrepreneurs of change

Finally, the observation of this contributing barometer is hopeful. Profound and sincere changes are necessary for companies. The recent health crisis has more than ever accelerated this transformation in the making, reminds us Martin Piot, Vice-President of the W.

The consumer is no longer passive, he now wishes to support society towards greater utility, visibility and transparency. We are seeing a return in the value of things. The logic of the past, focused on promotional offers and mass consumption, no longer applies. Consumption becomes reasoned: the buyer's arbitration tends towards more accuracy. According to Martin Piot, companies today must, above all and above all, demonstrate pedagogy. So communicating, let's ignore yesterday's marketing, which is no longer in line with the evolution of mentalities and the undeniable transformation towards which society is tending. The contributing factor is the future of “3Cs”, exciting for communicators.

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