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Being good is not a ‘nice to have’, according to The Lab Managing Director Andrew Therkelsen – especially if you want to reach the increasingly influential Generation Z.


The Lab has been tracking the attitudes of Australians for a decade and has witnessed the explosion of conversations around doing good, and people wanting greater connections and compassion. Importantly, Australians want businesses to get involved.


“We now expect brands and businesses to share that same value system,” Therkelsen told RESET attendees in his presentation, Business as a Force for Good. 


“[Businesses are] increasingly being measured by our contribution to this subject and will be ever more. Expectations from consumers of businesses have fundamentally changed and they’re changing day by day, but not going backwards. Those expectations are having incremental, micro effects on consumers’ decision making and they’re gaining momentum.”


Data from a 12-month research project by The Lab, shows that the notion of good is very much front and centre with Australians:

  • 84% of Aussies expect brands to take responsibility when it comes to issues of good

  • 66% won’t engage with a brand if they think the company is not doing good

  • 83% believe brands need values and principles 

  • 53% say they’ll pay more for ‘good’ products – while Therkelsen said there can be an intention-action gap, it’s important to note that the intention is there.


In addition, The Lab’s research found that approximately 10% of brand value and equity is related to the good you do – and that’s the same across all industries. 


“And it’s growing,” Therkelsen said. “Good is now foundational to the value that is created for brands.”


Summing up, Therkelsen had four key messages for the audience of CMOs, marketers and agency professionals.


1. We’re all in the business of good now.
Our cultural backdrop has meaningfully changed, according to Therkelsen. “The pandemic has been a lightning rod to catalyse our momentum to good. It changed the way we think about things forever,” he said.


Being in the business of good helps build trust and authenticity with customers.

2. Think beyond green
Customers expect brands to engage in multiple sources of good, Therkelsen said. For example, ethical considerations are hugely important to Gen Z, more so than sustainability.


“If you’re only thinking green, you’re missing out on 75% of the rest of the good that your customers need, expect and want you to do,” Therkelsen added.


3. Good can change
The graphic equaliser of good recalibrates by audience, product and industry – brands need to understand their audiences intimately.


4. Use the language of consumers when talking about good
Communicating the good your brand or company is doing requires humility, empathy and no jargon. “Be more human in the way you approach your conversation about good and use the language of consumers,” Therkelsen said, pointing out that much of the language used by brands in the space was sterile and full of jargon.

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