If you’re running a successful business, you know who your customers are. Most likely, you’re offering something people want and your brand aligns with their values. You realize your brand needs to meet the specific requirements of your channel customers, while also meeting the aspirational goals of your end customers (e.g. parents wanting safer toys). How do you tie it all together internally to display an aligned message and understand who you’re designing for?
The end-users are ultimately going to be the ones to buy and use your products. If their needs are met, your channel customers will continue to purchase from you. However, the needs of both are changing quickly. Consumer product groups are being pushed by emerging chemical issues, screening chemicals of concern and staying on top of materials health- all without federal regulatory guidance. Individual state and NGO-level groups are demanding action. Many large retailers are now creating their own sets of chemical compliance requirements, to both reduce their own risk and ensure a safer product for their consumers. This falls on designers and manufacturers’ shoulders.
Two of the largest sources of global future end-users are, by age, millennials and the younger “generation Z”, and by geography, located in emerging economies. Millennials want accurate information at the tip of their fingers. If their answer isn’t located on your label, they will us their smartphone in-store or a quick search online to help make purchasing decisions. Emerging economy buyers have felt the devastating impacts of industrial booms in their communities, with unsustainable business practices - and are eager to make different decisions with their purchasing power.
Set up an internal framework to meet the needs of your channel and end-user customers. You'll begin to notice the similarities in their needs, after all, retailers want their consumers to be happy as well. Do you know what's in your products? Do you use a red-listed chemical that needs replacing? Can you utilize new technologies to create similar products without toxic chemicals? Consider creating or expanding a more sustainable, or eco-friendly line of products. Here is a post about how to get started with product transparency. We then wrote a post about connecting with your supply chain to achieve your goals. An increased desire for more product transparency is inevitable. No longer will simply abiding by federal regulations be enough for consumers to regard your brand and individual products as safe.
Future-proof your products by understanding what’s in them now, and proactively look for safer alternatives to keep pace with customer demands. With Toxnot, you can compare chemicals, products and an entire portfolio of products to understand where you can improve on materials health, and report on the transparency all of your customers are demanding. Our features streamline your materials health journey.