Building an Authentic Environmentally Conscious Brand
Sustainability should naturally now be at the forefront of your marketing mind, but you need to let your consumers know that you mean business and avoid your strategy appearing meek at all costs.
Brands and consumers alike are now highly aware of the issues surrounding greenwashing and how to spot it. 59% of consumers actively look for businesses who can help them make more eco-friendly choices but 66% say they struggle to find businesses who live up to their ‘green’ claims. So, the big question is, how do you build an authentic environmentally conscious brand that your consumers can trust?
Understanding Consumer Needs
Authenticity comes from real devotion. The all-important mantra of ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ comes into play here. Resonating with what it is that your target audience cares about and showing this through your product or service offering will create great customer retention.
Talk to your customers. Take on some in-depth research into what it is about your product or service that people want to see improved, and then take this feedback internally, to figure out a plan to achieve this improvement.
A brand who has built a solid trust in its consumer base of its sustainability focus is Patagonia. In a world where £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, the company has built itself as the ultimate sustainable clothing brand.
Using what could be described as ‘anti-marketing’ strategies in which they promote second hand clothing and asks consumers to think twice about their need for an item before purchasing from them. For example, their ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ which highlighted the environmental cost of their best-selling fleece jacket despite the use of organic and recycled materials, and even advised consumers to buy a used version, saw the brand highly regarded for its environmental care. They have consistently proven to their consumers that they value the planet over their own monetary gain.
So how can you green up your brand? Take note from wide format print specialists Imageco. The print industry is known to have struggles when looking to become more sustainable, but Imageco genuinely cares about creating a more sustainable future for print, and this is evidenced through everything they do.
The company has tirelessly worked on finding eco-friendlier materials. Through the use of voltage optimisation devices, solar panels, water-based inks and textiles made from ocean bound plastics, the company consistently proves to their consumers that they are working to do better!
All it takes is a short look at the brands marketing activities, all activities from social to blog to events all has sustainability at the core. One major topic they have recently covered is reduction in waste during the festive season. They advise on how to make the most wasteful time of year, less impactful. They don’t stop at simply offering a sustainable service, they work to educate their consumers.
Transparency around sustainability is now a business-critical component to consider. After all, transparency lends itself to accountability. Consumers will see the honesty in your claims when you are transparent enough that there is nowhere to hide greenwashing tactics.
94% of consumers stated that they would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that is completely transparent. Something that is being recognised by businesses far and wide, as we begin to see an influx of annual sustainability reports being released.
Sustainability reports are a great way of demonstrating transparency, but you can also keep your consumers up to date on what you’re doing to do better through other marketing avenues such as social media and blogs, to keep content fresh and relevant to current events. Remember it’s important to break up sustainability claims with facts and update progress figures regularly.
Drowning in Data
Building an authentic eco-conscious brand can lead to feeling as though you are drowning in a multitude of sustainability issues. And that is why it is important to refine your objectives and keep it simple. Good foundation objectives leave ample room for future growth and new goals once you begin to get settled into the eco-conscious environment.
A good place to start is by looking over the UN Reporting on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Guidelines. Then think about what it is you’d like the set as your goals and talk about to your consumers. Consider carbon, water usage, materials and resource efficiency, and developing a circular economy as your basis and you will naturally lean into other areas as you grow.
If you have genuine intentions of bringing a sustainable option to the market, consumers who care will naturally gravitate to your brand. But there are many ways in which you can build your brand name with green at the core. All it takes is consideration into your methods.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Halston Marketing .
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