The evolution of brand and opportunities in sustainability

2 minute read

In ‘Marketing 3.0’, Philip Kotler writes :

‘We are witnessing the rise of Marketing 3.0 or the values driven era. Instead of treating people simply as consumers, marketers approach them as whole human beings with minds, hearts, and spirits. Increasingly, consumers are looking for solutions to their anxieties about making the globalized world a better place.’1

Although now over a decade old, this fundamental shift from viewing consumers as a passive entity to an engaged function is far more advanced in some sectors than others – the likes of Apple or Nike for example have had huge success in building lifestyle brands that bring millions of loyal followers along on the journey. Other sectors, including financial services, have been slower to adapt, in part because of the view that the core product is still the most important factor and the insistence of some that where their finances are concerned, most people are only interested in how to achieve the ‘most’.

However, as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it is increasingly becoming obvious that this assumption is not true for everyone, and is especially not true for a generation who are set to benefit from the greatest wealth transfer in history – Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996). Estimates vary, and many of them only account for the UK and North America, but it is somewhere around the $40 trillion mark.

Millennials are the most sustainability conscious generation to date, likely only to be superseded by Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012). Various surveys on Millennials buying and employment preferences reveal their deeply rooted social conscience.2

One of the consequences of this is that Millennials (and so far, it seems Gen Z are of the same mindset) are asking more of the brands with which they engage, in all aspects of their lives. And as they inherit more significant sums of money, their focus is increasingly directed towards how and where they invest. This presents both a challenge to the traditional marketing models of many wealth and asset managers, as well as opportunities in a multitude of new ways.

1Kotler, P., 2013. Marketing 3.0. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, p.22.

2Enviral. 2021. Millennials Are Paving The Way For Sustainability – Enviral. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 2 November 2021].