Each week we’re sharing one of the 16 fundamental drivers of opportunity in our Accelerate model.

This week… Taking RESPONSIBILITY

Today our world – its ecosystems and natural resources – is under an incredible strain. The responsibility of humans for its plight is made increasingly clear, and consumerism is identified as the smoking gun. Both individually and collectively, humanity is struggling to create a world that’s fair and sustainable. Brands must do their bit – and can help individuals, and society, make a difference.


First and foremost brands should be committed to social responsibility, but this is really a hygiene factor today. Brands should be doing more, driving action and taking responsibility. A commitment to the ‘circular economy’ and demonstrable willingness to defend the rights of others are also increasingly seen not just as desirable, but necessary.


At a cultural level, anxiety about the world we live in is expressed in many ways. For some, ‘conscious consumption’ – choosing to shop and eat in a way that supports ethical or ecological causes – is the way forward. For others, the cause is more political, as demonstrated by the rise of millennial eco-socialism in Europe and America. Whether it’s small changes to people’s lifestyles, sharing on social media or full-scale activism, people increasingly want to make a difference however they can.


A growing number of brands exist within this driver’s territory to serve the needs of the conscious consumer. Among them are Veja vegan sneakers, H&M (with its commitment to good worker welfare and sound supply chain), Loop by Unilever (attempting to reduce packaging by supplying recyclable refill packets), The Guardian/Observer (with its self-imposed remit for responsible journalism) – and a whole host of charities and social impact organisations.


We’ve also explored the human psychology of the RESPONSIBILITY driver. This suggests there is an opportunity for brands to play a more proactive role in helping us to make practical changes that will make a difference; Supporting a mindset that places an intrinsic value on our world and the people in it. Encouraging a sense of empathy for the people behind the issues. Making a personal commitment to support a better world. Making personal sacrifices and accepting trade-offs. And feeling a sense of resolve and sticking with it through the challenges.


There is a growing commitment among brands to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. But often we see a gap between what brands say and what brands do, and how global values and commitment to a social purpose actually pay out on the ground in local communities. This means RESPONSIBILITY continues to be a big driver of opportunity going forward.


Follow this link to read more about our Accelerate model and the 16 human drivers of opportunity


Next week: Wellbeing

Marc Cohen

Written by Marc Cohen

Successful entrepreneur and executive within market research, data and subscription/SaaS businesses, including venture-capital backed companies. I have built and led a number of market-leading products and consultative research companies, and led several successful exits. I have worked and lived in UK, US, continental Europe and Asia.