A sure-fire way to lose customers
Naomi Simson joins Northern Star as a guest columnist for our latest series, Business Class.
CONSUMERS are now savvier than ever in regards to what they spend their hard-earned money on, with many only buying products they know have been ethically sourced and grown.
As such, it is crucial businesses embed sustainability at the heart of the strategies and actions, or be prepared to lose customers, says Dr Rumman Hassan.
Dr Hassan, a lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland's School of Management and Enterprise in Toowoomba, said in this day and age businesses cannot afford to be myopic.
"Short-term gains at the cost of long-term detriment to society and the environment at large is not an option," he said.
"Sustainability ethos needs to be the foundation of any strategy being developed and executed by any business.
"Consumers today are more aware than they were 20 years ago and the reason for that is obvious; we now have the world at our fingertips. At the click of a button we can see that while North America is buried under ice, Australia is literally being baked under the scorching sun.
"People are aware of these extreme changes. People are experiencing these changes in the environment. Since the impact is being felt first-hand, they are bringing about changes in our mindset and behaviour."
Australia's agricultural industry is currently leading the charge in regards to transparency of the food production process, offering consumers phone apps to track food from the paddock to the plate, says Lorraine Gordon.
Ms Gordon is the director of Southern Cross University's Lismore campus Farming Together program and the director of Australia's first Regenerative Agriculture Alliance. She said consumers were demanding to know the food they were buying and consuming had been humanely produced.
"It's absolutely critical, especially in the food industry, that businesses make their processes transparent. If consumers are spending money on an item or product or food item they want to know if it has been produced in an ethical manner. They will vote with their feet and won't buy it if it hasn't," she said.
An entrepreneur and business leader; Naomi Simson co-founded the Big Red Group in 2017. BRG is all about serving experiences to different audiences through its various brands: RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Redii.com. BRG serves an experience every minute as the third largest experience marketplace of its type in the world. In this series we present some of her key learnings on how she grew her businesses.