The influence of a brand can be powerful. Throughout this coronavirus crisis we are experiencing, brands have played a key role in filling gaps in government responses, whether by pivoting product manufacturing to support the production of essential goods or by delivering relevant messages, to support and encourage necessary behavioral changes in this new normal.

What is certain is that it makes us wonder: why are there no more brands responding with products and services to the immediate crisis that is coming?

The closure has given us an idea of ​​what a world with reduced human activity is like, showing that air pollution has been reduced. This should be a reminder to both society and brands that the fragility of nature is interconnected to our global economy. It can be seen in the loss of biodiversity and climate change.

In the opinion of many brands, the reality is that not enough is being done. There are brands that continue to defend low prices at the expense of their products and services being unsustainable, making it difficult for consumers to act more sustainably. But brands and agencies have the responsibility and the ability to influence how people think, feel and act. This is why brands are essential to transform life towards sustainability in a simpler and more rewarding way for everyone.

So, how can brands encourage the meaningful behaviour shifts that are required?

Promote 'Sustainable Living': Understand What Consumers Want

Many seek to follow a simpler and reduced lifestyle, to have a more sustainable and balanced life, enriched by our community and the environment. Brands are looking for a future that is sustainable, and that is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a change that consumers want for themselves. This need is also being accelerated by the current crisis. We are increasingly posing a world where communities must be self-sufficient. Brands must understand what they have to communicate, understand how they can help consumers to follow this new way of life, in an aspirational and achievable way.

In 2019, Dentsu Aegis Network entered into collaborations with a number of global brands to launch Brands For Good. This initiative seeks to help companies reach consumers through marketing, and offer them the way to achieve a "good life". This requires launching a large amount of research, and carrying out the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There are some sustainable behaviors that need to be encouraged, including eating more plants, reducing waste and fostering circular business models, in order to significantly reduce climate change and create a more resilient society. Once the right audience is reached, it is important to use the research of these consumers to identify the needs that must be addressed by brands to drive these behaviors.

In this research it was discovered that consumers want to see their own progress in their quest for sustainable living, feel recognized by the surrounding society, and enjoy a lifestyle in which they return to basics, this they are doing while they look for meaning in their lives. The sustainable wishes of consumers offer very important information to brands, on the best way to adapt their products, marketing and values, in order to help facilitate products, services and other necessary elements in the daily lives of consumers, that meet these needs.