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Campaign of the Month: ‘What Girls Should Reach For’ – Young Women’s Trust

It won’t be news to anyone that there’s a gender pay gap. But what might be surprising is that research finds the estimated time it’ll take for a gender balance to take place is actually increasing, not decreasing.

Looking to shine a light on this issue and empower young girls to strive for careers they otherwise might not, Young Women’s Trust is calling out specific fields in which women aren’t commonly represented.

Here’s why we chose ‘What Girls Should Reach For’ as our October campaign of the month.

The Insight

It will take 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end, according to the World Economic Forum. This is a 47-year increase from the same study the year before.

With this insight at hand, the teams set out not only to drive more awareness around the increasing gap – but to offer a playful solution.

The Message

Looking to highlight career areas where women are still hugely under-represented and equality is still rife, Young Women’s Trust, alongside BBC Creative and Grey London, created a baby mobile featuring symbols like a rocket, a football, and a sign saying ‘CEO.’

The project also includes downloadable patterns describing inequalities in areas like equal pay. And the message that reigns is a clear one:

Raise girls with ambitions, not limitations.

Joe Levenson, Director of Communications and Campaigns at Young Women’s Trust, says, “Despite record numbers of women in the workplace, young women are too often told what they can’t be rather than encouraged to be anything they want to.”

To combat this, the overarching campaign message is aimed at parents, who are implored to support their daughters from day one and encourage them to aim high.

Why it Worked

Taking a fresh and playful approach, the campaign put the spotlight on future generations of girls, and how parents can work to empower them from birth.

Sarah Fox from BBC Creative says, “We knew we wanted to do something on this topic when we found out there are more people called Dave than there are women in the FTSE 100.”

It’s a step in the right direction, using inventive creative driven by data to encourage parents to support their daughters from an early age and end gender inequality sooner.

Black Friday 2018: Why Social Media is Key for Driving Sales

Social media is now a key channel for product research around the world. But is it being used for more than just research?

With Black Friday and Cyber Week just around the corner, our latest survey on 111,899 internet users reveals how essential it is for brands to place a key focus on social to reach UK and U.S. consumers. Here’s why.

Social commerce is rising.

Since 2015, social media has continuously been playing a more central role in the consumer journey.

42% of consumers now conduct research about brands, products and services through social networks.

This places them just 10-percentage points behind search engines.

This growth is being driven by developments in product search functionalities across social platforms like Instagram, which recently introduced product tags to support its native product discovery.

Black Friday campaigns drive more social shopping.

Another study we conducted on 3,500 consumers in the UK and U.S. revealed 49% of UK and 53% of U.S. consumers are now converting through social networks.

Facebook takes the lead here with 39% of UK consumers having made a purchase through the platform.

The same research shows when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, social shopping rises by as much as 66% in the UK.

In fact, only a quarter of respondents say they wouldn’t make a purchase through social media after seeing a sales offer during the discount weekend.

Trust in social networks is growing.

One of the most popular platforms for purchasing after seeing a Black Friday or Cyber Monday advert is Instagram.

A quarter of UK respondents say a key driver for making a purchase on social media is having a better preview of the product.

This rises to 31% in the US.

Social platforms also allow for a better user experience, giving consumers the chance to see the latest trends and influencer posts (20%) and what their friends have engaged with or purchased (20%).

These reasons rated higher than any discrepancy in price between social media and other platforms.

Crucially, social networks have reached a point of maturity among consumers.

27% of UK and U.S. consumers say they could trust the platform to handle the payment process in much the same way as a brand or retailer, proving to be a vital factor in their decision-making.

Winter season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Marketers tend to dedicate a large part of their budget to the lead up to Black Friday, and for good reason:

A quarter of UK shoppers expect to have spent over £250 by the close of Cyber Monday.

Despite this, just 17% of consumers feel they will be able to do ‘most’ of their Christmas shopping during the Black Friday weekend.

This tells us while Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to be priority for brands everywhere, the winter period should be seen as a marathon, not a sprint.

Social media needs to be taken seriously as social commerce continues to grow, but brands should think carefully about how to allocate spend throughout the entire winter sales period.

 

7 Brilliant Marketing Campaigns that Prove the Power of Survey Data

Every great campaign starts with an insight – an insight that tells a story about your target consumer.

But the way to find that revealing insight is changing.

In the world of market research, surveys are more valuable than ever because they’re ethical, they’re reliable and they allow you to go deeper. In marketing, they can be used for everything from fueling big campaign ideas, to measuring their success.

They tell you who your audience is, what they want, where they spend their time and what tactics work best to reach them. This is knowledge that spells the difference between guesswork and data-driven marketing.

Here are seven brilliant campaigns that prove the power of survey data.

1. Ogilvy – Change the Facts, Not the Fro

The insight

1 in 5 black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work.

The campaign

For many of us, hair is a representation of who we are and what culture we belong to. Despite this, a significant portion of black women feel pressure to change their natural hair to “fit in.”

Having uncovered shocking statistics through the 2016 Good Hair study, the research also revealed 78% of people instinctively prefer smooth hair, highlighting a serious need for change in the way female beauty and power is represented in the media.

This important campaign urged people to think about how this kind of social pressure affects people in their everyday lives, aiming to “change the facts, not the fro.”

Pushing the message via DOOH, social, PR and online, using relevant hashtags like #WorldAfroDay and #Changethefacts, people were encouraged to join the movement and spread the word further. The resulting campaign shone a light on those suffering in silence, encouraging a much needed shift in mindset.

2. Tobacco Free Florida – The Reasons

The insight

In Florida’s rural communities, smoking rates are 33% higher than the rest of the state.

The campaign

By now, most smokers are well aware of the dangers posed by cigarettes – so it’s not a lack of awareness that makes smoking continue to be widespread.

Through several research studies, this locally-focused campaign uncovered it’s most often working parents under financial stress who are the heaviest smokers, and they’re sick and tired of the hold that cigarettes have over them.

Using documentary-style ads featuring real people, one simple message prevails:

“There are many reasons to quit. What’s yours?”

Since Tobacco Free Florida began airing ads in 2010, the state’s youth cigarette smoking rate has been cut almost in half – from 8.3% in 2010 to 4.3% in 2014 among Floridians aged 13-17. It shows the true power of using insight to inform your campaigns, and ensure you’re reaching the right people, in the right way.

3. Ad Council – Seize the Awkward

The insight

50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% start by age 24, and an estimated 76% of young adults turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support.

The campaign

In a collaboration with the Jed Foundation (JED), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Droga5, Ad Council cleverly uses awkward humor to connect with its target audience on a topic that matters to them.

Using the insights uncovered from survey research to shape the campaign targeting 16-24-year-olds, the team aimed to spread awareness around just how common mental health issues are, and how anyone can offer their close ones a shoulder to lean on.

Will Lowe, Creative Director at Droga5, said, “Hopefully, by encouraging young people to talk about how they feel, we can normalize conversations around mental health, and help them get the help they need before things get out of control.”

With a message aimed to encourage their target audience to seize awkward silences, rather than fear and avoid them, the campaign highlights how one seemingly small gesture can ultimately save lives.

4. Activia – It Starts Inside

The insight

80% of women in the U.S. aged between 25 and 55 agree that they are their own worst critic.

The campaign

This inspiring campaign, shaped by a custom survey run by GlobalWebIndex, set out to empower women to “achieve their full potential by overcoming their inner critic.”

Featuring candid interviews with real women sharing their self-doubt and determination to achieve their personal goals, the campaign video makes fantastic use of an authentic, consumer-centric approach where people are always the main focus.

And, while the campaign didn’t merely advertise its products, aligning the Activia brand with a social mission worked wonders. It helped to position the brand as more than just a CPG product, but a ‘platform to help women feel good inside and out’.

5. Alzheimer’s Society – United Against Dementia

The insight

A mere 22% of the UK population realise that dementia leads to death, with one third of people wrongly believing there’s a cure.

The campaign

Uncovering this insight through deep consumer research, the creative teams recognized the urgent need to educate people on the reality of the widespread disease.

The striking ad, pushed via TV, press and social media, had one key message:

“Forget about what sets us apart, because dementia doesn’t care.”

The campaign used creativity to raise awareness and spread a message of positivity, successfully educating the public about the reality of the deadly disease. A powerful example of marketing that works, this campaign shows just how a deep understanding of audience perceptions can drive meaningful creativity.

6. Ad Council – End Family Fire

The insight

8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by “family fire.”

The campaign

Aimed at preventing accidental shootings in the home, the originators of this eye-opening campaign found that more than 4.6 million kids live in homes with guns that are unlocked and loaded, and three out of four of them know where those guns are kept.

Having uncovered this distressing insight, the campaign worked to spread awareness of the issue and encourage a safer home environment for all children.

The core message relies on emotional responses from the audience, saying:

“There’s no more tragic a death than when it’s by someone you love.”

And rather than pointing the finger, the campaign made gun owners part of the conversation, urging them to make safety their number one priority.

This way, Ad Council succeeded in raising awareness around a key issue, urging people to think differently about gun ownership and violence in the home.

7. Always – Like a girl

The insight

At puberty, 50% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure, with 80% of girls feeling that societal pressure to be perfect drives this fear.

The campaign

Having discovered that half of all girls in the UK fear failure, Always set out to create a movement and reverse the negativity.

Encouraging girls to embrace failure when it happens and to use it as a tool to build confidence, the message was a simple one:

“Keep going #LikeAGirl.”

The long-running campaign has seen many reiterations, but has continuously strived to portray failure as a life lesson, not a setback.

It’s a perfect example of a brand taking steps to understand their target audience completely through the power of survey data, and then focusing their marketing efforts on what they know is important to them, in an authentic way.

Getting started

Survey data holds a more important place in marketing than ever before, and it’s now even easier to get the impactful insights needed to shape a successful campaign.

With access to survey data that goes far beyond basic demographics, profiling motivations, attitudes and interests, brands are getting to know their audience on more intimate levels.

This is how a powerful data-driven message is formed – one that strikes a chord with the right people, giving you the reach and impact that’s needed to get real results.

What’s the Next Big Thing for Voice Assistants in 2019?

Voice assistants continue to gain momentum, but there’s still little clarity around how this new interface affects the brand-consumer relationship, and how brands need to reposition themselves in light of this.

With strong chances of more growth on the horizon, stakeholders in voice tech are having to consider questions that underline its durability and monetization potential.

Above all, they’re grappling with the need to commercialize voice assistants, and solidify the role they’re playing across the purchase journey.

There’s more growth to come.

Even in the last year, we’ve seen a significant growth in uptake. Just under half of online adults are now using voice technology in some way – whether that’s through voice assistants on smartphones, or smart home assistants.

Asia Pacific are currently the most engaged with voice technology, with over 1 in 2 using voice search tools in some capacity.

European users lag behind the other regions as the least enthusiastic, but, tellingly, they’re also the least likely to say that owning the latest technology is important to them.

From a market-by-market perspective, we clearly see that voice search growth is being driven by the key Asian markets, with India, China and Indonesia coming out on top.

Many of the world’s emerging markets represent key growth areas for voice, as they hold millions of consumers who are yet to be connected.

These consumers’ introduction to the internet is likely to be via smartphone, so the importance of integrated voice assistants, alongside frequent upgrade cycles, shouldn’t be underestimated.

For voice tech uptake to continue at speed, it needs to increase exposure, and smartphones are a platform to do this.

They’ve put voice search tools in millions of pockets, and did so without relying on consumers consciously purchasing a voice-enabled device.

Voice tech’s integration into cars is another example of this. In a special study in the U.S. and UK, we found that “when driving” was the most common daily occasion that mobile voice users were speaking to their smartphone assistant.

Auto is an industry where voice can really demonstrate its value, as driving is an activity where consumers can truly benefit from its “hands-free” nature.

Industry initiatives from leading auto brands demonstrate the acknowledgement of the potential for voice integrations, whether via existing stand-alone assistants, like BMW and Amazon’s Alexa, or auto brands’ personal built-in assistants, like Kia and Hyundai are introducing from 2019.

How should brands position themselves in voice?

The change in user interface from conventional search methods to voice assistants has important implications for any brand proposition.

Voice interactions in this new search environment are fundamentally different and more personal than interactions taking place on social media or search engines, and this raises the stakes for brands.

Having a dialogue-based interaction gives brands an important opportunity to redefine their brand proposition using completely new variables.

This encourages them to get creative and think outside of the box to make full use of the voice assistant experience.

What’s a brand’s gender, and what does its voice actually sound like? What accent does it have? Is the brand’s personality on the voice platform personable, informative, or colloquial?

These are just some basic examples of how brands need to reframe their thinking to optimize their voice experience.

In the voice assistant market in the UK and U.S., Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant have the most significant market share.

Amazon’s success in the smart home device market is thanks to aggressive discount periods for its Echo, which have helped to solidify its position.

With Google Assistant being the default interface on Android smartphones, it has a high likelihood of strengthening its position in the market given the frequent handset upgrade cycles.

This means brands must look to these assistants to deliver their voice experiences at scale. These assistants carry with them their own imprint on the delivery of the experience, potentially keeping the brand’s interactions within the boundaries of the assistant’s personality itself.

On top of this, brands must also consider how the delivery of these experiences differs between voice-enabled devices.

Among mobile voice assistant users, our research revealed that functional activities are the leading use case for this tech, like asking for directions or for checking the weather.

Home assistants, on the other hand, provide a more relaxing and interactive experience. We also found home assistant users perform a greater variety of behaviors on average, with an emphasis on content and entertainment, like streaming music.

But as these interactions are short, so is the window of consumer attention.

Home assistants, in particular, can become an integral centerpiece in people’s homes, but not while the opportunity to use voice is still very limited. They’re struggling to reach “assistant” status.

Amazon’s working to connect the overall experience and truly make Alexa a useful assistant — introducing a series of new integrations like Echo Auto for cars, and an Alexa wall clock and microwave — but even then, success relies on consumers being convinced by the value of this connected lifestyle which goes beyond a novelty.

But for brands, this highlights the need to align their approaches on each device to the kind of environment the device sits in.

For mobile voice assistants this means helping users make quick decisions on the go, and for home assistants this means delivering a fun, interactive or relaxing experience.

But assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant don’t currently differentiate their personalities between devices or contextual environments, and this will be a key issue to overcome as more brands join the fray and consumers demand more natural voice-enabled experiences.

Closing the loop in the path to purchase.

Voice assistant devices offer one of the most direct paths to purchase available, but they only excel in certain areas of the consumer purchase journey.

To realize their potential as commerce devices, they need to close this loop.

Globally, we see that consumers like to inform themselves before committing to a purchase by making use of a growing list of research channels.

Consumers also like to see what they buy before they buy it, with social media having seen a 50% increase as a product research channel since mid-2015.

Voice assistants can’t yet deliver on these consumer demands, having little to offer in the way of informing consumers on products between the brand discovery and buying stages of the purchase journey.

As such, anything that requires high research or investment is less likely to be purchased, limiting the scope to low-price, everyday product categories or frequent purchases.

Brands also face the challenge of getting in front of their target consumers in the first place. And this brings us to one of the most pressing junctures in the growth of voice technology: how to commercialize voice assistants.

The challenge of commercializing voice assistants.

Amazon and Google both operate under very different business models. This simple observation gives us a glimpse into how each company may look to monetize their voice assistants.

Monetizing Alexa will most likely involve using the assistant to tie together the various touchpoints in Amazon’s ecosystem, driving users to always engage with or buy from Amazon no matter what they’re doing online.

While Google has its own ecosystem, its considerable presence in the online advertising market indicates that Google Assistant is set to help Google retain its position as search habits shift to dialogue-based interfaces, especially as Amazon itself looks to carve out its own share of the online advertising market.

In every case, voice assistants seem to be poised to incorporate advertising or product recommendations in the near future to prove their worth.

But will consumers be receptive to commercial messaging delivered via voice assistants?

This is one of the most important questions in the voice industry right now, and will continue to be in the coming year.

The scale of ad-blocking in every region and the motivations behind it tell us that a significant amount of consumers feel ads are intrusive and overabundant online, and are willing to act on this frustration.

If a significant number of consumers are already disillusioned with the state of advertising online, how will they feel about ads or recommendations delivered via a voice interface?

Voice interfaces don’t support lists of items very well, meaning if a user asks for a recommendation, any that are made might not be perceived as truly authentic.

This is because any options that reach the end user may have sponsorship or corporate interests behind them.

There’s also the question of whether there’s room for commercial messaging in the environments voice assistants sit within.

Almost two-thirds typically keep the device in their living room, and for more than half, it’s in the bedroom.

These are relaxing and interactive environments, but most importantly, they’re very personal. The challenge of delivering ads or recommendations in these environments without being intrusive may force brands and marketers to hone in on contextual targeting to avoid the mistakes which lead to ad-blocking.

Solving this overarching challenge is crucial in the development of voice assistants.

But solving it also requires appeasing long-standing privacy issues. As the media noise surrounding recent privacy scandals and legislation gets louder, the security of emerging and unfamiliar technologies like voice assistants also comes under scrutiny.

“Active listening” tech puts devices in the security spotlight.

Globally, voice users already have privacy concerns online and are taking action to control the data they share with companies:

Two-thirds are using private browsing windows, and 6 in 10 are blocking ads each month.

And tellingly, for consumers in the UK and U.S. with no interest in purchasing a home assistant in the future, the perceived security of these devices was a leading concern, with around a quarter saying this.

Voice assistants’ “active listening” technology puts it in the security spotlight. There are questions being raised on how much these devices hear, and whether they can distinguish between voices efficiently enough to safeguard individuals’ private information.

The push towards contextually-driven interactions could help bridge the gap between consumer reservations and effective recommendations delivered in a more natural manner.

And although the voice assistant interface is only able to deliver top-position entries in its recommendations, a look at the attitudes of voice tech users reveals a promising prospect on commercial messaging on these devices.

Around 2 in 3 voice tech users say that they think there’s too much choice online, and this links to a wider trend where some consumers feel very attached to technology, but are overwhelmed by the so-called “infinite shelf” online.

So while voice assistants seem well-placed to solve the problem of overwhelming and overabundant choice when looking for products online, the delivery of the recommendations hangs in the balance.

No matter how you look at it, voice assistants need to commercialize, and it’s in the next year that we should see this initiative begin to surface seriously.

The challenge for brands lies in deciphering how to connect with consumers across the various contexts of voice assistant engagement in a way which doesn’t come across as ingenuine, inauthentic, and, above all, intrusive.

Pollpass: Why We’re Changing the Survey-Taking Experience

As home of the world’s largest survey on the digital consumer, we pride ourselves on being global leaders in market research. And as such, we know the survey-taking experience needs a refresh.

Reaching the modern internet user is becoming more of a challenge.

It takes leveraging the channels and platforms that reflect how 21st century consumers interact.

Our new survey technology, Pollpass, enables brands and agencies to generate bespoke insight in real-time from any demographic, in any location, on any device.

Breaking the mold in how surveys are conducted, here’s why we’re changing how it’s done.

1. Higher engagement = better quality insight.

Not many would describe taking traditional surveys as a compelling experience.

Our new chatbot-led solution is injecting some personality in the process, with a built-in messenger format to better reflect how people communicate today.

Offering engaging rewards to keep respondents motivated, the surveys are also far more responsive.

We’re doing this to keep people as engaged as possible, because when they’re engaged, they’re more willing to delve deeper, resulting in better-quality insight.

2. More flexibility = more respondents.

Many traditional surveys aren’t built with the consumer in mind. To make sure respondents are prioritized, we knew surveys needed to be made flexible, to work around their schedules.

With our new solution, respondents can easily dip in and out of surveys without losing any submitted answers, meaning they don’t need to hurry their answers.

What’s more, the Pollpass platform was built for mobile, so they can carry out entire surveys on the go. This level of flexibility makes it much easier to recruit respondents and create the ideal sample for your research.

3. Faster turnaround = smarter decisions made in time.

In market research, timing is everything, and fresh data is key.

But with many traditional surveys, fieldwork and analysis can be a lengthy process, often resulting in marketing decisions being made without the insight that’s needed to be sure they’re the right ones.

We’re speeding up the process of harnessing high-quality responses, collecting more data in less time by removing the friction of page load times and clunky UX designs.

With Pollpass, you can request a survey to be put into market and receive the results within 24 hours.

4. More tailored surveys = insight that’s aligned to business metrics.

Data collection is now a far more targeted solution. Along with being mobile-first, highly engaging and faster than before, we’re making the surveys highly customizable.

This means you can focus only on the questions that are most useful to you, and receive top-quality results that are truly tailored to your target audience and desired outcomes.

But unlike other survey platforms, Pollpass uses the same robust methodology from GlobalWebIndex that’s trusted by the world’s leading agencies, brands and publishers.

This ensures all surveys are conducted to the highest possible market research standards.

5. Mobile-first = meeting consumers where they are.

67% of consumers now say their smartphone is their most important device, and this is a number that continues to grow.

This poses a challenge for market research operators (and businesses) worldwide: solving the mobile user experience.

By making our surveys mobile-first, we’re offering the experience they’re looking for – simple, intuitive and shaped to fit today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

Insight in Practice: EntSight

Global leaders in audience intelligence, EntSight, operates at the growing intersection between Brands & Entertainment, working with top brands like BMW Group, IWC and Tommy Hilfiger, and putting data and insight at the heart of everything they do.

The rapid growth of the streaming-service market made it important for EntSight to get a deep understanding of these audiences in granular detail, including their behaviors, attitudes and motivations.

With a bespoke survey carried out through Pollpass, we examined the nature of audiences that spend their time on streaming platforms like Amazon Video, Netflix and Hulu in a bid to see what drew them to these services.

To ensure the insight was of the highest possible quality, the survey focused on:

  • How consumers felt about the inclusion of advertising in streaming services.
  • Whether they would consider exclusively viewing content on streaming services in the future.
  • How frequently they expect new, relevant content.
  • What would make them cancel their subscription.

Using our new solution, EntSight received 4,000 responses from relevant respondents within 24 hours of the survey being put into market.

The research EntSight derived from the GlobalWebIndex survey results paints a clear picture of streaming audiences’, covering areas that are highly important to its clients such as adoption, loyalty and opinions on advertising.

And with exclusive consumer insight like this at hand, the team can truly present themselves as data-driven experts, consulting clients with confidence.

The Rise of Green Consumerism: What do Brands Need to Know?

Environmental degradation is hitting the headlines lately. News articles and documentaries around rising seas, declining air quality and shrinking animal populations are more common than ever – and they’re beginning to cut through.

A couple of moments stand out in particular. In Australia, it was the War on Waste TV program, while in the UK, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series sparked a cultural shift around plastic consumption.

Sales of reusable coffee cups and water bottles took off, plastic straws were banned in many bars and restaurants, and brands like Evian and Coca-Cola promised packaging made from recycled materials.

The impulse to “go green” is clearly gaining momentum. According to a recent bespoke study we carried out in the UK and America:

Half of digital consumers say environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions.

There’s a difference between intention and action, but brands could miss out on a big group of consumers if their green credentials aren’t up to scratch.

Millennials are leading the way.

From free-range meat to vegan skincare products, millennials are regularly considered to be the ones driving the sustainable movement with their lifestyle and behavioral changes.

Often coined the “Green Generation”, many brands are starting to see the appeal and opportunity in these changes. UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger now has three all-vegetarian outlets, for example, while L’Oréal has unveiled its first vegan hair color range.

Our global data shows firm evidence for this. Millennials (aged 22-35) are more likely than any other generation to say that they would pay extra for eco-friendly or sustainable products.

Over 60% say this, compared to 55% of Gen X (aged 36-54) and just 46% of baby boomers (aged 55-64). Gen Z are hot on their heels, though, and figures for this generation are only likely to grow as its members’ disposable income grows.

And it’s important to note that if millennials are more conscious than ever about their purchases reflecting their beliefs and values, and Generation Z is close on their trail, a long-term change is most likely taking place.

Where does the responsibility lie?

As a society, we now have a level of understanding of the damage being done by our “throwaway” culture. But whose responsibility is it to initiate change?

The consumers we surveyed in the UK and U.S. admitted they felt most responsible for the future of the planet, but 52% believed responsibility lies with manufacturers or production bodies.

The responses we’ve seen so far from the biggest brands are a step in the right direction, but there are still huge amounts of consumer goods out there that rely excessively on plastic material.

This invariably means consumers are faced with less choice in their ambition to ‘go green’.

We see evidence for this in our UK and U.S. data. Although high proportions choose reusable bags, bottles and recycle, just 34% of those surveyed actively avoid products that are harmful to the environment, like plastic straws or cutlery.

For brands, this represents an opportunity to focus on the solutions that can be made to our plastic problem.

Stainless steel straw producers Turtle Savers is one brand to emerge following the revolt against single-use plastics. As bars and restaurants began banning plastic straws, a lucrative gap in the market was left for them to capitalize on. Other brands need to follow suit and work to provide consumers with alternatives to plastic products.

CPG brands face the bulk of the pressure.

CPG brands, in particular, will face increasing pressure and expectation to initiate change. When determining the “greenness” of different product categories, consumers are most likely to research cleaning and personal care products.

In part, this could be down to the assumption that eco-friendly products are more natural and better for their health, which is also likely to be why food is highly researched.

62% of eco-conscious consumers in the UK and U.S. believe eco-friendly products are better for their health.

For household products, in particular, there’s been a recent movement away from products that contain harsh chemicals following reports that many household products have toxic chemicals linked to health problems.

Unilever has been quick to capitalize on this trend and is reaping rewards as a result. Earlier this year, the company revealed that its ‘sustainable living’ brands grew faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of its turnover growth.

And for the first time in 20 years, it’s decided to roll out a new personal care brand, Love Beauty and Planet – an eco-conscious brand that’s vegan-friendly and uses bottles made from recycled plastics.

Ultimately, it’s not just PR reasons why the biggest brands should be thinking green; there are financial gains to be had too.

Fast fashion could come under scrutiny soon.

With plastic waste currently at the center stage, it’s logical that CPG brands experience most of the pressure at the moment. Consumers aren’t as considerate when buying products from other categories, like electronics and travel, mainly because the environmental impact of these products hasn’t had the same amount of publicity.

Less than half of eco-conscious consumers research clothes, shoes and bags before buying them.

In reality, the fashion industry, in particular the low-cost, high-volume fast-fashion retailers, is one of the biggest culprits. Water pollution, toxic chemical use and textile waste are just some of the costs to the environment that result from our love of fast fashion. But consumer awareness around the environmental impact of fashion is still relatively low.

It’s easy to see how one documentary or news story could seriously shake up attitudes, just as it did with our reliance on plastic.

Sustainability is still yet to majorly hit the agendas of most fast-fashion brands. H&M talks about sustainability more than most others in the market, but there are plenty of other brands who are yet to join them.

What we know for sure is that the environment needs to be at the top of every business’s agenda. Over the coming year, the pressure to be green is set to expand into new product categories, and brands need to start seeing this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.

As we saw with Unilever, there are financial benefits to be had beyond just good PR. But to fully realize the true potential of the green market, businesses must help consumers change their behaviors.

And that requires removing the hurdles between would-be green consumers’ intentions and actions.