Networking and Companies with a Purpose: How to Differentiate through Sustainability

Consumers officially prefer sustainable businesses. In their report 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey, the US firm CGS detailed results of the survey, which was answered by more than 1000 North Americans between the ages of 18 and 65. The survey shows that buyers are looking for sustainable products and that about one third of respondents are prepared to pay 25% more for these. In addition, the survey highlighted that aside from the issue of quality, the second major reason for consumer loyalty to a particular brand is because this shows ethical and sustainable business practices.

It is understandable that consumers seek balance in the face of an increasingly complex and volatile world. Therefore, as the Consumers Trends 2019 report indicates, it is not surprising that consumers demand greater diversity and inclusiveness, seeking brands that allow for more responsible choices, even preferring those that provide them with more authentic alternatives to transform their way of life.

Faced with this reality, more and more companies have made strong commitments to be more sustainable and to provide products and services that make a positive impact. According to the Global Reporting Initiative, 62% of managers of Latin American companies considered that a sustainability strategy is necessary to be competitive as this increases intangible benefits such as reputation and brand value. Good intentions and press releases are no longer enough; being a company with purpose makes the difference, and even more so if it creates value for society and the environment.

Being sustainable is simply seeking to have a positive influence on your environment through your company's activities, generating better quality of life for the population and lessening or eliminating environmental impacts, while producing efficient economic returns.

What does this have to do with Networking? Well, activities that encourage business networking, such as BTM 2019, can be an ideal platform for you to show the efforts your company has made to be more responsible, allowing it to position itself in a market that is increasingly looking for business profiles aligned with sustainability.

While there is no magic formula to differentiate yourself, it is advisable that when participating in these business networks you highlight:

  • The purpose of your company. What drives it beyond the economic factor?
  • The way in which your product or service has positive environmental and social impacts.
  • The way it creates value through being a responsible company.
  • The connection your actions have on the motivations of your target client.

In the business world, there is a popular saying: “People do business with those they know, appreciate and who inspire confidence." Take advantage of networking activities: these are full of opportunities to build trust in potential business partners; to stand out in the crowd as a purposeful company; and to show that in an increasingly mindful market, it's worth doing business with you!

About Sara:

My name is Sara Herrera. I am an Export Promoter for the industrial sector in PROCOMER. I combine my academic training in customs and foreign trade with a specialty in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development. I currently focus my experience on value chains, the economic empowerment of disadvantaged segments and SME development to achieve a positive impact on the business ecosystem.