Modern Life

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Modern Life - Societal Changes that Impact Corporations

Changing attitudes towards green products, changing consumer preferences, aging population, changing gender attitudes, and generational shift are societal and cultural changes impacting corporate operations in the US and Western Europe. A detailed presentation of the changes is provided below.

Changing Attitudes Towards Green Products

  • Changing attitudes towards green products is affecting how businesses approach sustainable development in their operations. Amid the rising concerns about scarce natural resources and the impact of human behavior on climate change, sustainable development has evolved to be a guiding theme for the society. People’s expectations have changed where they exhibit improved awareness of environmental challenges facing the world today.
  • Today, people have a pro-environmental worldview, which is greatly influencing their decisions to buy a product or consume a certain brand. A study conducted in America and the UK showed that half of digital consumers consider environmental concerns as an influencing factor on their purchase decision. 62% of the environmentally conscious consumers feel that green products are good for their health.
  • As a result, companies in America and Western European countries, such as the UK, are adopting green business trends in order to leverage the growing demand. Statistics show that 71% of Americans consider the environment as an influencing factor when making purchases.
  • Besides the increased revenue accruing from going green, businesses in the US are also experiencing notable savings from reduced energy costs by embracing sustainability in their operations. They are also going green to boost their brand image and ensure viability in the long term. They are working to align their business objectives with the shifting consumer demand.

Changing Consumer Preferences

  • Changing preferences is another factor impacting corporate operations. Consumers wield immense power over what businesses do. In this regard, their changing preferences are dictating business decision-making.
  • Consumer spending has witnessed a major shift with traditional spending shifting towards experiential spending on dining, travel, hospitality, and leisure. Today’s consumers, especially millennials and Generation Z, are digitally savvy, which influences how they buy and what they desire. They are more concerned about convenience and value.
  • Changing consumer preferences are forcing companies of all sizes to conduct business differently. They are forcing them to develop new products and adopt new ways of marketing.
  • In the United States, restaurants such as McDonalds have been forced to add menu items, such as salads, to accommodate changing preferences for healthier alternatives by consumers. In Western Europe, consumers have a preference for food products with specific health characteristics, such as pomegranates. Thus, businesses have to realign their operations to accommodate changing preferences.
  • In the UK, shopping habits and preferences are impacting how companies in the retail industry operate. They are being forced to change their shopping models to respond to the rise in consumers’ preference for buying online.

Aging Population

  • Changing demographics is another notable factor in the corporate world. For example, a low birth rate and an aging population have contributed to a shrinking working-age population. A shrinking workforce is forcing businesses in the US to develop ways of tackling labor shortage. For instance, companies such as Ford are implementing automation in their production plants.
  • Changing demographics are also affecting consumption. For example, an aging population will lead to a low demand for certain popular fashion products and a rise in demand for health products. Thus, businesses affected by such changes must develop measures to cope with the trends.
  • In Western Europe, 25% of the population is expected to reach the retirement age by 2030, leading to an acute decline in disposable income. Thus, businesses targeting mass market have to change their tactics because consumers will be more price-conscious.

Changing Gender Attitudes

  • Changing gender attitudes are influencing internal decision-making processes in organizations. The shifting gender roles and rising emphasis on family life have contributed to enhanced respect for paternity and maternity leave in organizations. For instance, companies in America are slowly making changes to promote a more inclusive environment by making policies that redefine parental leave.
  • Changing attitudes towards sexual harassment have prompted companies to change their policies and take harassment more seriously. Statistics show that 51% of companies in the US have reviewed their sexual harassment polices to respond to changing gender attitude.
  • Studies show that many organizations in Western Europe have introduced procedures designed to cope with cases of harassment. In the UK, 95% of organizations have such procedures while 93% in Ireland have systems in place to deal with harassment or bullying cases.

Generational Shift

  • Generational shift is the other change impacting corporate operations. Today, millennials are no longer the largest part of the labor force in the United States. The largest section of the workforce today in the country is made up of people born between 1981 and 1996 while Generation Z makes up approximately 10% of the workforce.
  • Generational shift is impacting workers’ compensation landscape as well as utilization of technology in the workplace. Thus, organizations have to automate many business processes, such as reporting, to eliminate the need for manual input in line with the desires of the young workers. The young workers are also looking to work in companies that promote collaborative work.
  • Impacts of generational shift also extend to the spending habits. For instance, Generation Z has its own spending habits and preferences. In the US alone, they spend over $143 billion annually. In Western European nations such as the UK, generational shift is also defining the spending habit.
  • As result, businesses have to develop innovative products and marketing strategies, such as social media marketing, that tap into this potential.





Part
02
of four
Part
02

Modern Life - Societal Changes that Impact Corporations: Companies Part One

First Solar, Mondi Plc, Domino Pizza Inc., Microsoft, Domino Pizza Inc., Taco Bell, TOMS, and Cisco are companies responding to modern life changes in the US and/or Western Europe. A brief overview of how they are responding is presented below.

First Solar

  • First Solar has positioned itself to address the growing demand for green energy. The Arizona-based company believes that the shift towards renewable, cleaner energy is more urgent today than ever before. Thus, the company’s corporate operations focus on providing green energy through photovoltaic solar systems and solar modules.
  • The company upholds a corporate culture where all employees work collaboratively to lead the globe’s sustainable energy future, thus helping in responding to the demand for green energy.

Mondi PLC.

Microsoft

  • Microsoft perceives the changing attitude towards gender as an opportunity to enhance diversity and inclusion in its workplace. The company is making concerted efforts to make its workplace more diverse and inclusive. Specifically, it is making good progress in reducing the gender gap.
  • One of its corporate operations aimed at responding to these changes is enactment of parental leave policies. All new birth mothers working in Microsoft are given a 5-month paid leave. Fathers, foster parents, and adoptive parents are given three months paid leave.
  • Microsoft has nurtured a corporate culture that fosters inclusion. It strives to create an inclusive environment that activates the power of diversity, which is important in responding to the changes in gender attitude.

Domino Pizza Inc.

  • Domino Pizza is interpreting the growing preference for convenience among consumers as an opportunity for growth. The company is striving to woo customers by facilitating online ordering and payment options, as well as developing loyalty programs.
  • As part of its corporate operations, Domino hires its own drivers to delivery orders. By using its own drivers, the company is able to deliver various foods beyond pizza. It is also opening more outlets to reduce the delivery time.
  • Domino’s Pizza is also responding to the demand for convenience through its corporate culture that is focused on convenience delivery. The company seeks to improve the speed and convenience of its delivery services.

Taco Bell

  • Taco bell is interpreting the rising demand for food delivery services as an opportunity for growth by offering convenience to its customers.
  • Taco Bell is addressing the demand for convenience by incorporating third-party delivery services into its corporate operations. It has a delivery partnership with Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash. Its corporate culture allows the company to identify ways of satisfying their cravings conveniently.
  • According to the company, its approach to delivery is a recipe for success that benefits not only the customers but also the involved partners.

TOMS

  • TOMS is interpreting the generational shift as an opportunity for enticing the millennials. The company’s business model is designed to cater for millennials tastes. Statistics show that 75% of millennials prefer firms that give back to the society.
  • In this regard, TOMS donates a shoe to a needy person for every purchase made on their website. As a result, the company has captured millennials’ attention, thus driving more sales. Its corporate culture that nurtures the desire to have a mission beyond profit making is also pivotal in responding to generational shift.

Cisco



Part
03
of four
Part
03

Modern Life - Societal Changes that Impact Corporations: Companies Part Two

NextEra Energy, Sealed Air Corporation, Deloitte, KPMG, McDonalds, Target, and Northrop Grumman are companies responding to modern life changes in the US and/or Western Europe. A brief overview of how they are interpreting and responding to the changes is presented below.

NextEra Energy

  • To NextEra Energy, the changing attitude toward green products is an opportunity to further its mission of providing clean energy.
  • The company is responding to the green energy demand through its corporate operations. The operations entail generation and delivery of clean energy and construction of affordable and reliable energy infrastructure. The company believes in being a good steward of the environment.
  • Its corporate culture is also responding to the changes by upholding sustainability and the desire to be a leader in clean energy.

Sealed Air Corporation

  • Sealed Air Corporation is interpreting the changing attitude towards green products as an opportunity to attain its sustainability goals.
  • Through its corporate operations, the company is responding by providing green packaging solutions. The company is accelerating its usage of recycled materials, expanding its packaging reuse models, and collaborating with partners to achieve green packaging solutions. Its corporate culture is bent towards having a cleaner environment by finding sustainable solutions.
  • Sealed Air is fast-tracking efforts within its core activities, its customers business activities, and consumers to improve adoption of green packaging solutions.

Deloitte

  • Deloitte perceives the changing attitude towards gender as a chance to attain gender parity in its workforce. Its efforts in this area have created meaningful change for its employees. The company is continually working to create a diverse workforce and address gender imbalance.
  • Its corporate operations also seek to respond to the changing attitude towards gender by promoting gender equality. As a result, Deloitte won the Gender Equality Award 2019.
  • Further, the company has a strong leave policy with new mothers getting a paid leave of 22 weeks. New fathers also get a 16-week paid leave.
  • Deloitte also creates a supportive place of work for parents returning from maternal or paternal leave. Deloitte has created a corporate culture that is responsive to changing attitude towards gender by upholding diversity and inclusivity.

KPMG

  • According to KPMG, the changing gender attitude affirms its commitment towards empowering women. The company is committed toward improving women’s representation in its workforce, with notable improvements in the last few years.
  • KPMG is responding to the changes through developing policies that are gender sensitive. Like, Deloitte, it provides a 17-week paid leave for new mothers and a four to six weeks paid leave for new fathers. It is also creating flexible working hours and formal children care backup as a way of nurturing a supportive environment for parents returning from paternal or maternal leave.
  • KPMG’s corporate culture of inclusion and diversity is also helping in its efforts to respond to these changes by enacting policies that accommodate the shifting attitude.

McDonalds

  • To McDonald’s, consumers preference for food delivery is an opportunity to make sales. In the UK market, the company is experiencing sales growth with its reports indicating that 1 out of 10 orders come from the delivery segment.
  • McDonald’s corporate operations have responded by partnering with third-party delivery services, such as Uber Eats to meet the consumers demand for convenience. In the US, the company is gearing up its delivery service by expanding its geographical coverage. McDonalds' corporate culture upholds progressiveness and innovation, thus helping the company address the changing consumer preference by using technology.

Target

  • Target perceives the generational shift as a marketing opportunity. The company is focusing on price and value without creating the impression of a cheap, a strategy that is naturally appealing to the millennials.
  • Target’s corporate operations such as redesigning grocery departments to emphasize on healthier food choices is resonating well with the millennials. The company is also integrating its traditional store strategy with e-commerce, further appealing to young consumers. Target’s corporate culture marked by the willingness to adapt to the changing marketplace is strategic to responding to the generational shift.

Northrop Grumman










Part
04
of four
Part
04

Modern Life - Industries Responding to Modern Life Changes

The energy, packaging, and the food industries are the most active in responding to the identified modern life changes. The requested information about the industries is presented below.

Energy Industry

  • The energy industry is one of the industries responding to demand for green products with green energy being a natural choice of many consumers. In the US, renewable energy is the dominant consumer choice of the nation’s power supply.
  • Statistics show that over 40% of consumers prefer renewable utility generation. 45% are also willing to pay more in order to attain 100% renewable. Evidently, consumers are more environmentally conscious and expect companies to act in the same way.
  • The energy industry in Western European countries, such as the UK, France, Italy, and Germany, has also experienced increased demand for green energy. Most of the demand comes from both individual and corporate consumers. The latter adopts green energy as part of their corporate social responsibility.
  • As a result, the energy industry is actively responding by generating more renewable energy in order to satisfy the growing demand. They must demonstrate their commitment to ensuring a clean environment through their products. This has a seen a rise in renewable energy generation with statistics showing that in 2019, renewable energy surpassed coal by providing 23% of the total US power generation.

Packaging Industry

  • Another industry actively responding to the changes in consumer attitude towards green products is the packaging industry. Consumers in France, Germany, and the US consider green packaging to be recyclable, biodegradable, and reusable. Thus, demand for sustainability and green efficiencies has forced packaging producers to look for ways of attaining greener efficiencies.
  • Consumers are going for eco-friendly packaging materials, which has triggered an unprecedented growth in the green packaging industry. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay more for green packaging options.
  • Another study found that 82% of Italian shoppers are likely to purchase products with green packaging. 75%, 74%, and 62% of shoppers of Spain, France, and Germany, respectively are also likely to choose products with green packaging. Thus, brands are going for green packaging to rhyme with consumers’ demands.
  • In response, players in the packaging industry are actively developing green packaging options for their customers. This has led to the emergence of various green packaging materials, such as starch-based biomaterials, mushroom-based packaging, organic fabrics, and recycled cardboard and paper, among others. With companies in various industries, such as healthcare and beverages, going for green packaging products, the packaging industry is aggressively working to respond to the trend.

Food Industry

  • The food industry is actively responding to changing consumer preferences. Today, consumers prefer convenience, which has seen a spike in demand for delivery and takeaway services in the food industry. The demand for delivery services is also expected to increase by 65% in the US.
  • The increasing preference for food delivery services is an opportunity for the food industry to revamp the weak traffic trends in the food industry. In response, restaurants and other players in the food industry are changing their structure to provide viable delivery solutions. Third-party delivery services have percolated the industry with restaurants of all sizes enlisting their services.
  • Other players in the food industry are investing in delivery fleets to avoid the fees charged by the third-party delivery services. Although the third-party services do not need significant upfront investment, restaurants do not have control over the customer experience through the entire delivery process.
  • The food industry is also introducing new menu items that resonate well with the modern consumer’s preferences. As consumers demand for healthy products increase, food companies are introducing sugar free alternatives and GMO free foods, among other options.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02