“ Every company has the potential to change the world, and will not survive if it doesn’t” [Sir Richard Branson]
- Are you perceiving innovation in the same way?
“Iconic brands are increasingly out of favour with US consumers whose preferences and priorities have evolved” [Rabobank]
- Are you staying ahead or just catching up with consumers' new demand patterns?
“[…] Radical innovation in products and processes often – in fact usually – comes from outside the existing market structure” [John Kay, economist, writer, business consultant]
- Has your internal “innovation department” found disruptive solutions yet?
“We take harmful molecules into account while selecting our investment portfolio” [John Streur, CEO, Calvert]
- What is your definition of protecting shareholder interest?
[For Investors] "the [ESG] debate has moved beyond the initial stages - of negative screening of undesirable stocks and then positive screening for progressive companies - to a third stage where it is viewed as fundamental to long-term investing" [Ron O’Hanley CEO of State Street Global Advisors]
“The natural cosmetic industry has woken up to the fact that the future lies in producing genuinely natural and organic products” [Organic Monitor]
- Does it cause a headache to your in-house chemists?
“The predictive consumer no longer exists” [The Guardian]
- How are you engaging with your customer? Are you still relying on surveys that were created with the old paradigm in mind?
“Huge resources are lavished on coaxing, cajoling and controlling [consumers]” [The Guardian]
- What are the results of such actions in your company?
How we can help
Changes in customers’ demand patterns are felt across a variety of industries. Food, cosmetics and household cleaning products are good examples of this trend. The reach however is much broader. Our consumers finish and furnish their houses with more natural products. They abandon materials from their kitchens and bathrooms that may be considered toxic. They engage with goods and services providers differently. Every day they vote with their £,$, or € affecting the bottom lines of large companies. The changes are measured in billions (just look at the equivalent of $18bn in market share that US food and beverages companies lost between 2009 and 2015, or at the impact of disruptive technologies).
How to respond to consumer trends is not always obvious, as often double-digit growth in sales of new products may not offset a decline in high margin goods. How to create a trend and lead the industry may be even less straightforward, yet it may be one of the key factors in achieving success.
Your consumers increasingly are finding value in aspects that affect environment, society and their health and well-being. They may “define” ESG differently than you do. If you, however, insist on “your definition” you may “become one of the business cases” analysed by MBA students. With such dynamic changes across a variety of industries, skilful identification and interpretation of ESG issues could make a difference between bringing an edge to your core business or making you a laggard in your industry. Yet ESG is seldom interwoven into the core business, let alone perceived as one of the key drivers impacting the bottom line. The link between changing consumer demand pattern and ESG is also often missed.
Non-financial reporting standards are very helpful and needed, but how can you become a leader in your sector if you solely follow the standards? We are living in times when “Iconic brands are falling out of favour with consumers whose preferences and priorities have evolved”.
For investors “the [ESG] debate has moved beyond the initial stages – of negative screening of undesirable stocks and then positive screening for progressive companies – to a third stage where it is viewed as fundamental to long-term investing” 
This can be perceived as a challenge or as a right time to gain competitive advantages
Health Equity Exchange assists companies to:
Transform their value proposition by incorporating ESG issues
Identify ESG issues that are material and impact their core business (in cases where such ‘connection’ is not obvious)
Analyse the relationship between ESG and new trends in the consumers’ demand patterns and their impact on core businesses
Bring together experts from a variety of industries and facilitate the creation of an environment that fosters innovation
Project manage implementation strategies
build risk-benefits scenarios of potential innovative responses
identify and interpret material ESG issues that can bring an edge to core business and the value creation chain
Dana Hanby is the Founder of Health Equity Exchange – a portal that brings experts and users together, fostering innovation and facilitating the development of solutions, which not only respond to but also create new trends. Dana has experience in New Market Entry, Business Expansion and Development with the expertise in Financial Environmental markets.
Her responsibilities have included Global Sales Lead for Energy and Environmental products and services for the second largest derivatives exchange in the World. She has also worked closely with the World Bank to put forward financial solutions with the aim of increasing liquidity and efficiency in the Climate Market in her role as Chair of “Ratings and ICaR (Reserve)” Group for the Climate Market and Investment Association.
Dana holds an MBA with the focus on Strategy and Finance and a Masters of Science (EE). She also holds PMI accredited qualifications in Project Management. As behavioural science permeate multitude of sectors – from Financial to Consumer facing Industries, she has also obtained a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and has become a Silver Member of the International Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching.