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What is a conscious brand and why create one?

Updated: Nov 1

Conscious branding is a trend on the rise, and one we hope becomes timeless. But, what is a true conscious brand we hear you ask? Read on to learn about the influence conscious brands can have, what conscious brands are and who is buying from them.


What is a conscious brand?


Let’s start at the beginning. A conscious brand is a brand that carefully considers its actions and the impact these actions could have on a social, political, environmental and cultural level. While truly conscious brands will consider all of these areas, most will boldly champion one or two.


We like to think of conscious brands as a rebellion against the capitalist economy that’s taken over the modern world. Inviting consumers and other brands to slow down and build a considerate economy instead.


Just remember though, conscious brands don’t have to be perfect (more on that later) just always work to put people and the planet ahead of profits.



What makes a conscious consumer?


Okay, so if a conscious brand considers the impact of what they put into the world, conscious consumers consider what they take in. These purpose-led consumers vote with their wallets, investing in products and companies that help to shape a world they believe in. Like us, conscious consumers are fiercely passionate about their values and spend money with businesses that embody them wherever possible.


A couple of years ago, it could have been assumed the conscious consumer was only a marginalised few. But, we’ve had pandemics, climate crisis, modern slavery scandals and so much more flooding our newsfeeds since then. This has inspired more shoppers than ever to start paying attention to where they spend their money with a lot more care and intrigue.


We found out 60% of consumers were reported to be making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic. So conscious consumers are on the rise, and brands (big or small) need to transition away from the antiquated, unsustainable and inauthentic ways of doing things to remain in business.



The business for good movement


The rise of the conscious consumer has inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs and existing business owners alike to do good with their work. Consumers want to be assured what they’re buying into isn’t causing any more harm, and that’s where organisations like B Corp come in. Over 600 UK companies form their community of better businesses and offer consumers the confidence products are ethical, it grows every day - but you don’t need accreditation to be a kick-ass conscious brand!


We know conscious brands can become the market leaders of the future, consumers are ready for it. You just need to know how to cut through the noise - something we can help you with!



Conscious brands transforming their industries



Yoppie


We are lucky enough to work with the brilliant team at Yoppie who “create personalised menstrual care solutions that enable people to take control of their menstrual health.” The team at Yoppie:

  • Create high quality, sustainable, natural period care products

  • Create science-backed health content that can be trusted

  • Make menstrual care convenient to anyone who experiences a period

Check out Yoppie’s period positive work here



HISBE (How It Should Be)


HISBE Food is a social enterprise (rebel) supermarket based in Brighton and Worthing on a mission to transform the British food industry, by reinventing the way supermarkets do business.


They are achieving this by focussing on:

  • Local suppliers

  • Packaging-free food

  • Values-led brands

  • Sustainable shopping options

  • Investing in people & environment


The team at HISBE are posing a thought-provoking question after the pandemic… ‘Why Go Back To Normal, When You Can Go Back To Better?’.


We know where we’re headed when it comes to shopping for the better. Check HISBE out and see why we’re so convinced supermarket rebels are the future.



Hurr


Dubbed by Forbes as the ‘Airbnb of fashion’ Hurr is a truly conscious fashion brand. Disrupting the fashion industry by creating a rental service for on-trend fashion pieces, saying goodbye to the damaging “make > use > chuck” business model and bringing the circular economy to the forefront of fashionistas' thinking.


In true conscious fashion, every step of Hurr’s business is sustainable:

  • Step 1: Rent your next look

  • Step 2: Receive rental in reusable packaging

  • Step 3: Send it back in the same packaging

  • Step 4: Hurr clean and prepare for re-rental with green dry cleaners


Learn more about Hurr and its disruptive mission here.



How do you create a conscious brand?


Okay, so it all sounds pretty great, but perhaps a tad overwhelming? Here are the core elements that take conscious brands from concept into reality.

  • Conscious Brand Strategy: This is the foundation of everything and what your customers will hold you to as an expectation. It’s created through clear brand values, mission and vision.

  • Socially and Environmentally Conscious: A focus on Diversity, Inclusion and Climate from the outset. Because we all care about a happier, healthier world don’t we?

  • Great Design and Communication: Bringing your incredible brand to life and ensuring it has the biggest impact and farthest reach possible. The purpose you’re pursuing deserves it.



Greater success equals a greater potential for

positive impact


Remember, your conscious brand is capable of putting people and planet before profit and still making money.


As long as you stay true to your values, the more success you receive, the more resource you have to do good with. You could give back through charities and projects, drive eco-innovations for your industry, raise wages, or get found by more people and change the landscape of consumerism altogether… dream big!



Conscious brands are the market leaders of the future


We said it before, and we’ll say it again, conscious brands are the market leaders of the future! Lots of them, sharing resource, technology and knowledge to help each other succeed in a mission to do, and be better.


The best thing is, this isn’t some pipeline dream of ours, a recent report discovered the UK’s top 15 conscious brands experienced a 17% increase in annual revenue growth versus the bottom 15 conscious brands facing a 9% decline in annual revenue.


Consumers are hungry for it, don’t be afraid to stand for something better with your business. You’ll gain a super loyal customer base and as a bonus improve your profit. Not at the expense of the planet or its people - but by supporting them.



Ready to create something?

Hopefully reading this article has lit a fire in your belly and inspired you to take the next step in creating a conscious brand, or transform your existing business into a more conscious brand.


Book a free brand consultation with Kirsty, Studio KICO’s Creative Director to bring your vision to life and create big change for your cause.




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