Leadership and Filters: Consumer Shopping Filters Have Changed

This is the first post in a new category called “Leadership and …” which will include research, trends and new ways of thinking that impact organizational leadership.

One of the interesting things in our sector, if you look at media and technology and what we have seen over the last 10 to 20 years, is that there has been an explosion of choice. But people are more and more careful about the companies that they do business with.             Jeremy Darroch, in discussion about How to Maintain Your Corporate Reputation in Management Today (UK)

More choices mean more time that needs to be invested in the decision-making process. And that decision-making process has changed. Shoppers are now using filters to help simplify choices of all kinds. There are too many choices to easily manage in our marketplace, and not all of the companies a person may be considering are transparent about ingredients, leadership values, or ethical practices.

Websites that “filter” the information for the consumer are becoming increasingly popular, as a way to narrow the choices down to a manageable number. A great example is the commercial I saw on television last night. A woman is standing in the frozen foods aisle, and as she names what she wants in a pizza (no artificial, chemical ingredients, one that her family will like, etc.), some of the frozen food cases disappear until there is just one left. This is a visual representation of filtering, and more and more consumers want it.

In addition to making sure that items are healthy and affordable, many consumers now have added a level to their filters – “green.” Consumer Reports has even added a website and product reviews for Greener Choices.  There is almost a separate “universe” on the web of green companies, with portals for selecting the most socially responsible and ethical companies.

Websites filter and sort companies by different means, so that consumers can make decisions carefully when choosing product and service providers, suppliers and partners. The sites are useful because consumers want to select based on much more information than most companies provide, and want to compare how companies stack up in their areas of concern.

This website, The Good Guide, which is in Beta form, rates foods and products in multiple categories – including the company’s ethical track record, working conditions, environmental responsibility, and the impact of the product on your short-term and long-term health. The site also has user reviews, so that you can find the highest rated product by the most responsible company. There are more filtering sites listed below.

Filters for choosing responsible products and companies

Some companies are even building the filters that their customers want into their product selection,  assuring customers that all of their products are guaranteed to contain no genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) or chemicals, for example. This removes time and stress from the decision-making process for their customers who do not want those ingredients.

As a leader, we are judged by your choices. Choosing to be a responsible company moves our products up in the filters our customers are using. Choosing a responsible company to partner with or buy from or support automatically increases the overall responsibility level of our company and builds customer trust. How does our company stack up when consumers use purchasing filters?

Questions to Ponder:

1. How is our company filtering choices in ways that help and delight customers as they make choices?

2. How can we improve our corporate filters (for selecting products, suppliers, partners, etc.) to incorporate ethical leadership and environmental and community responsibility?

3.  How does our company look on the websites that rate corporate responsibility and ethics?

4. What can we change, starting today, in order to improve our ratings?

If this was helpful, consider subscribing to Leading in Context. It’s free and posts are about once a week.

 

For New Blog Posts, visit LeadinginContext.com/Blog

522

For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?
 
  7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
  About 7 Lenses
 
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

About Linda Fisher Thornton
Linda Fisher Thornton is Founder and CEO of Leading in Context, and author of the award-winning book 7 Lenses. She teaches as Adjunct Assoc. Prof. for University of Richmond SPCS. She is leading a movement to help leaders and organizations Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership.

Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: