I was sitting at home and watching the results of the closely contested US election unfold on CNN when I kept seeing a Hyundai commercial focused on sustainability. They were not promoting any particular car model, any features, or technology but just getting a message (in primetime) out there that they are working towards using sustainable materials.
That’s a sharp contrast from a car ad that I remember from 2004, which featured a Honda and a Mitsubishi car driving on a bridge and one was able to stop a meter ahead of the other, which was enough to not fall into the collapsed part of the bridge.
I know what Hyundai were onto. They were trying to capitalize on a trend where more and more consumers want to buy from brands that share the same values as them.
Covid-19 accelerated even more a shift that has been gradually forming for over 10 years. There has been a global psychological shift in values, beliefs, and needs. Values have evolved, with renewed demands that brands put integrity and purpose before profit. The basis for many customer decisions has shifted. Through COVID-19, the triple bottom line of people, profit, and the planet has become more important than ever.