Achieving brand differentiation: sustainability is the future

I recently had the pleasure of discussing product strategy with a former head of own brand for a major European retailer, and she made a bold statement — that ESG is the place where brands need to differentiate in future. It was a statement that really resonated for me, especially in the context of private brands.

At S4RB, we focus on helping retailers and brand owners make progress on sustainability issues through supplier engagement. However, sustainability involves so many topics that retailers and brand owners are often at different stages of their journeys per issue. As such, they need to engage with suppliers differently on various issues.

Eyeing Stages of the Journey

Successfully implementing a sustainability supplier engagement plan requires a unique collection of capabilities and activities. Here are five stages of the journey and how success requires actions such as engagement, collection of information, and a focus on supplier performance. 

  1. Research - Assessing current supplier activities, capabilities and readiness
  2. Goals - Aligning suppliers with goals and expectations
  3. Benchmark - Assessing current product, material or supplier status
  4. Execution - Activate suppliers in a plan through communications and supplier self-help
  5. Embed - Hold suppliers accountable to standards, policies and performance expectations to drive sustainable change

But why is this topic so important today? And how can your business seize opportunities to drive progress?

Read the full article in Inside Own Brands: The Sustainability Issue.

James Butcher

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