Sustainability has become an element of brand value

sustainability-has-become-an-element-of-brand-valueLuxury brands in particular seem to be so focused on logistics and supplier transparency that they’ve overlooked vulnerabilities in customer experience and perception, and thus loyalty. Leading brands of the future will be those which successfully redefine luxury in the context of sustainability.

Packaging is just one example of how retailers and brands send mixed signals. Last year British fashion label Burberry dealt with the problem of unsold seasonal inventory by burning it. The aim was to prevent its products from ending up discounted on the secondary market. The luxury market has some catching up to do. It can’t be done well by the usual trial and error method, introducing new products and packaging and waiting a year to measure the results. Technologies exist to test new ideas, to avoid committing capital on hunches. For now, retailers at all levels should be paying more attention to the point of customer contact, whether it is online, unboxing, or in a store. All retailers and brands will do well to put time, money, and vigor into creating a more practical and authentic approach to sustainability, one that customers can see and touch, and which they can feel good about when making purchase decisions.