Sustainability Matters: How to understand if your ESG efforts are impacting brand choice

Discover how ensuring products and services are ingrained with sustainable co-benefits can provide brands with a competitive advantage, brought to life with a case study from McDonald's.

The author(s)
  • Hazel Freeman Global Head of Brand Health Tracking Communications Research
  • Jon Harper UK Head of Brand Tracking Offer and Design
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It is fair to say that consumers are conflicted when it comes to sustainability. Whilst we know that global concerns are usually dominated by immediate issues, such as inflation, or COVID-19, Ipsos data indicates climate change, poverty and social inequality remain constant and significant global worries. However, most individuals are not willing to make substantial changes to their behaviour for the sake of sustainability alone.

Our research shows that to drive a change in behaviour, sustainability must be a ‘co-benefit’ alongside other factors which are key in a category, such as being easier, cheaper, or healthier. Ensuring products and services are ingrained with sustainable co-benefits can provide brands with a competitive advantage.

Understanding the importance of sustainability to consumers and how this impacts choice can be a difficult challenge for brands to navigate. For effective brand measurement you need to understand the perception of your brand’s ESG credentials and whether your actions are being noticed. Knowing which messages and target groups stand to deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI) allows you to focus on actions which are most likely to impact consumer behaviour.

Ipsos have undertaken extensive R&D in this area and as a result have developed measures and approaches to help our clients tackle this issue. Drawing on that work, this article will demonstrate how brands can ensure their sustainability efforts resonate with consumers and positively impact brand choice. Here we share an example of how McDonald’s (as the leader of the UK fast food market by ESG metrics) pursued the pillars of ESG together and communicated this message in an impactful way.

The author(s)
  • Hazel Freeman Global Head of Brand Health Tracking Communications Research
  • Jon Harper UK Head of Brand Tracking Offer and Design

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