Marketing Your Brand's Sustainable Practices
Many companies now adopt sustainable practices that go well beyond office recycling programs. Saving energy, reducing operational waste, curbing emissions, and developing green products are a few of the sustainable objectives being integrated into company missions and products.
As a result, brands are beginning to market their sustainable practices. Research shows 28% of companies leverage their eco-friendly efforts as a way to reach new customers, according to a report from McKinsey & Company.
Advantages of sustainable marketing include:
• Increased sales. 21% of consumers will buy a product from a sustainable company over a competitor, according to a report from Unilever. And consumers are willing to switch brands to show their support for sustainability.
• Reputation boost. 91% of consumers have a more positive image of sustainable companies and 87% consumers report increased trust in sustainable organizations, cites Sustainable Brands.
• Exceeding customers' expectations. More than 1/3 of the country believe brands are just as responsible for the environment (if not more so) than consumers, according to GlobalWebIndex. Brands need to go beyond haphazard eco-efforts and commit to full scale, purposeful changes.
Here are a few ways to build sustainability into your brand strategy:
• Tell your sustainable story. Why is sustainability a priority for your company? When did your commitment begin? What efforts are being taken to protect the environment? Tell the detailed story on your website, boil it down for social media, and create a direct mail campaign (printed on recycled paper, of course) to show what your brand is doing and why.
• Offer statistics. Tell consumers how much energy you’ve saved or how much waste you’ve decreased. Performance metrics are not only effective, they offer proof against greenwashing—the practice of using marketing to falsely represent a brand as environmentally sound.
• Add labels and certifications to marketing material. If your company meets certain eco-standards, works with sustainable vendors or products, or has obtained sustainable certifications, add those logos to your marketing materials. Consider adding to your company website, email signatures, marketing brochures, business cards, and directly on product packaging.
Common ecolabels include:
• USDA Organic
• Energy Star
• Green Certified Site
• LEED Green Building
• Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP)
• Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Marketing your company’s sustainable initiatives shouldn’t be overlooked. Consumers respond to brands that make sound environmental choices, making it an advantageous marketing tool. To continue your research, check out this article that tells the sustainability story of a Massachusetts printer.
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