One of the key principles of continued and long term economic success is innovation in its broadest sense. It does not only concern the business strategy itself, which nonetheless, should constantly be adapted in order to promote continued growth, but it should also affect every aspect of a business or enterprise. To innovate also means to observe and realise the situation on the market and to adapt accordingly. A cornerstone of successful innovation is the customers. Knowing what they want and acting accordingly will put a business in the position to cater their product precisely to the consumer's expectations and demands. Here, it is important to identify trends that arise in mainstream consumer behaviour, to incorporate them and to meet the requirements of such a trend in terms of production, design and service. Recently, sustainability has evolved as such a mainstream trend. As an effort to preserve the environment, all measures that reduce or neutralise carbon footprints are central to the aims of sustainability. With such a mentality becoming increasingly mainstream among consumers, businesses will find great opportunities for growth in recognising this trend and implementing sustainability in all entrepreneurial aspects.
A Green Brand
Coincidental with the rise of sustainability as a customer preference, polls have shown that consumers are much more inclined to buy a product or service if the producer or provider adheres to principles of sustainability and successfully promotes their doing so. Hence, going green is not just a sustainable strategy but also highly innovative, as successful adaption of sustainable practices will prompt a respectively positive consumer response. Additionally, the adaption process from conventional to sustainable business methods and production processes, will provide an enterprise with the opportunity to assess and to improve these processes. A company that requires packaging for their products, for instance, and, for this, relies on contractors, should re-evaluate these external providers and if needed, switch to a contractor that offers more innovative packaging solutions, in order to fit into the newly adopted, sustainable production process. Thus, re-evaluating contractors is another crucial part of innovation; while one contractor might have been the ideal choice two years ago, new ones have since certainly entered the market, possibly providing a more viable and efficient service. In terms of shelf ready packaging solutions that fit a sustainable business model, this means that the packaging material should be produced using recycled resources and only as much as necessary and this with a production process that is energy and cost effective for an overall, minimal carbon footprint.
Leading the Way
Adapting to sustainability does not only give you the chance to cater to an increasing consumer preference but also to assess your methods and processes, which will help you to increase the efficiency of your business and thus its profitability. However, innovation requires initiative and unless the CEO of a business does advocates innovation it will not happen. It does not work as an effort of only a few within a company but only as a holistic business strategy. Business leaders need to function as role models in order to promote innovation and to make it happen on all levels of an enterprise.