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Kantar Identifies What Sustainability Means To Asian Consumers And How Brands Should Respond

Kantar, the world’s leading data-driven analytics and brand consulting company releases preliminary findings from a new study exploring what sustainability means to Asian consumers. Kantar’s Asia Sustainability Foundational Study interviewed almost 10,000 consumers across nine countries in the region to understand their concerns and priorities.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Less than half of Asian consumers are engaged or active with sustainability issues
    • 19% consider themselves to be active on sustainability issues will 30% consider themselves engaged with sustainability issues
    • 31% say they are laggards on sustainability issues while 19% are sceptical.
  • The top three concerns of Asian consumers are specific environmental issues:
    • Water pollution (e.g. from pesticides and oil spills)
    • Extreme weather events (flooding, hurricanes, forest fires, drought)
    • Air pollution
  • 58% of consumers will invest time and money to support responsible companies
  • 53% of consumers have stopped buying products and services that have a negative impact on the environment and society
  • 58% of consumers reported they are personally affected by environmental problems.
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The study, premiered in a webinar last week, also measures the three factors persistently undermining sustainable consumer behaviour: Cost, Comfort and Convenience, creating a ‘Value-Action-Gap’ in the region. The research additionally introduces Kantar’s Sustainability Framework to build a consumer-centric strategy for success. This leverages a ‘Sword and Shield’ approach to better understand how brands in different categories can responsibly navigate sustainability issues by identifying where to focus their attention, how to localise their brand purpose to address local consumer tensions, and how to innovate to overcome the value-action-gap.

Summarising the findings, Kantar’s Trezelene Chan, Head of Sustainable Transformation Practice, Singapore commented, “Asia’s stage of growth and the fact that it houses some of the world’s most innovative companies gives it huge potential to create commercial value and address environmental and social issues. Consumers are looking for brands that have social and environmental purpose, so from a marketing standpoint, purpose is imperative, and sustainability is driving consumer choice. Our research illustrates the importance of taking a local approach to sustainability issues. While a company purpose should be a global constant, translating that into action needs to take into consideration the tensions that exist in each market. For the first time, thanks to this study, which is the largest of its kind, we are able to identify which sustainability issues consumers care about most in each country, and how that should translate in to action depending on consumer category.”

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