Marketing Tips: More People Are Willing to Pay for ESG


Differentiation doesn’t work any more

Differentiation in value is no longer a determinant factor for survival in the current harsh market because people basically choose something not for its value but for its meaning. This is the point I made in the newsletter last week. Today, I want to dig this subject a little more deeper.

A woman in the thumbnail image is the CEO of a biotechnology venture company that raises flies. They are not normal flies but thoroughbred ones quickly changing livestock excreta to fertilizer. She says enthusiastically their biotechnology will solve world food crisis and organic waste problems at a time. I believe the company is one of the top unicorn companies on which many Japanese investors have eyes. This is not only because a great growth can be expected but also because many people find social value in it.


We need something more than material value

ESG, SDGs, “How dare you,” etc. As these buzzwords well express, environmental and social correctness weighs more and more. If there’s no difference in value, most of us want to have a reason or meaning to justify payment (investment, in this case). As I was writing last time, such reasons and meaning are personal preferences or relations in most cases, but I assume many people these days want something that is more socially significant. Why do you think that is? The answer is very simple. Our material needs have already been satisfied. There’s a good saying: Well fed, well bred.

The chairman of our company always says “We’re lucky because our business is structurally eco-friendly. We are surrounded by rich forests that grow much more trees than what we use.” Oh, don’t forget this as well: We plant trees every year. I hope our eco-friendliness will be a good reason or meaning for you to choose our furniture.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.