In the pre-internet era, brands were almost fully in charge of their image, steering it through one-way mass media communication. When online channels emerged, customers started voicing their opinions and, with time, getting in direct contact with brands, generating an ongoing discussion about the quality of products and services. And as consumer awareness kept growing, ethics began to play an important role in this discussion, too. Research conducted by the Co-op convenience stores shows a massive growth
in the overall spending on ethically produced goods in the last 20 years.
This dynamic creates a general imperative for brands to commit to ethical standards. For big corporate businesses this potentially meant a massive shift, often on a business level. So, they delayed getting on board for quite a long time. Meanwhile, new players started creating brands that truly stem from ethical commitments, introducing innovation that satisfies customers’ needs to buy responsibly. The market dynamic suddenly flipped: today, small players dictate new standards, introducing products with fully transparent supply chains, pricing models, carbon labelling,… and the big players try to mimic them, often rather superficially.