Adam Steel
Adam Steel is Mintel’s Trends Analyst for the European region, identifying changes in the patterns of consumer behaviour to detect new trends. He publishes observations on Mintel’s Trends platform that cover innovations, creative marketing campaigns and product launches.

Marine wildlife conservation organisation Sea Shepherd has opened a tattoo parlour in Amsterdam where people can get inked and support the cause at the same time.

The organisation works to conserve and protect the planet’s many ecosystems and species. All proceeds made from the Sea Shepherd Tattoo Studio will go towards this fight, with tattooist Geert Vons encouraging customers to opt for Sea Shepherd or ocean-related designs. As a further incentive, all tattoos are vegan-friendly and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Ethical action

While Sea Shepherd’s tattoo parlour will likely bring in some welcome funding, the organisation’s latest inky initiative is more about raising awareness than raising money. We’ve seen other non-profit organisations venture into new markets as a means of bringing attention to similar issues. Mental health charity Mind, for example, teamed up with card and gift retailer and created a temporary installation in London in order to emphasise the importance of staying in touch with loved ones.

As consumers demand more ethical and sustainable action from the brands they shop with, these kinds of initiatives can prove a differentiator across sectors, with research showing they can influence the products people choose.

While brand extensions were previously the preserve of companies looking to expand their reach and target new demographics for business means, the application of this buzz-generating tactic to the world of ethical action can help brands to raise awareness of causes close to their hearts.