Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? If you don’t automatically align with the solution end of that equation, you might want to think about your overall messaging to consumers—and to the industry overall. An increasing number of consumers seek to serve as agents of change in their product purchase behavior, and will accordingly align themselves with different brands and companies. This is also sometimes true of potential business partners up and down the supply chain.
First of all, it doesn’t matter what this so-called “problem” is. It’s whatever each individual decides it is. For some people, the problem is the price. For others, it’s the product’s perceived environmental footprint. Still other consumers might take issue with any other product variable: convenience, portion size, nutritional aspects, or specific ingredients in the mix.
Regardless of what your customer base or business partners deem important, those potentially hot-button variables should face scrutiny. We should continually strive to land on the “solution” end of the spectrum, regardless of whether those solutions are currently reflected in your product mix, or if the solution is in progress. People want to see progress.
While developing a strong rapport with your core consumers will bring in the market intelligence you need to find actionable items for change, the first step is self-awareness. You must first understand who you are as a company, and then accurately present that reflection to the public.
This core aspect of market strategy was a key variable in the pathway Wyandot Snacks traveled toward earning Certified B Corporation status, a journey we follow this month in our cover story. A few years ago, Wyandot Snacks began several corporate initiatives to strengthen the company, including projects related to transportation, waste, the workforce, and sustainability. “We struggled for a number of years trying to define what ‘sustainability’ meant, how to create goals around it, and how to communicate these efforts to the wider team and community,” says Alicia Sexton, senior manager of sales, in the article.
Sexton then relates that once Wyandot learned about B Corporation Certification, they saw a solution. “After looking into what it was, we learned it was a way to merge all of our efforts into one, relatable message,” says Sexton, “using business as a force for good.”
In a world that poses serious challenges in so many ways—often surrounded by uncertainty and confusion—anything you can do to simplify and streamline core messaging to your customers will likely yield positive results when it comes to the point of purchase. It may seem like such a small measure, just simple purchase of food. But those little steps eventually carry you a long way. And embodying a “force for good” unequivocally equates to the “solution” end of the spectrum.