The marketing sector is a vast and rapidly evolving field as new marketing tools and techniques are launched almost on a weekly basis. Nowadays, it seems that brands are missing out on huge profits by not pushing sustainability. The movement to commit to green living and conserve the resources of our planet has become a growing trend and can be a door opening for various opportunities in the business world. Now more than ever, concerned customers consider that it is time for businesses to go green or go home. They pressure companies to reduce emissions and find better waste management solutions as they expect them to become part of the solution, rather than the problem.
As the world sees the negative effects of climate change, species extinction, and energy consumption play out in real time, brands have the opportunity to transform the expectations of their customers into profit. They can play a huge role in actively pledging for better business practices, transforming markets, and get involved in the initiative of promoting environmental awareness. But how can brands become sustainable and benefit from it? And how sustainable branding should be done in the era of eco-friendly mindset?
Being a sustainable brand is now an expectation
Sustainable branding has proven to be a strategic and profitable aspect of the brand-strengthening asset. But it still throws up a number of questions for marketers. What does it mean to be a sustainable brand? A sustainable brand should be one that has a neutral or positive impact on the climate, uses renewable energy, leaves a neutral carbon footprint, and looks after its employees. This is exactly what people expect from every reputable business existing on the market. Informed customers no longer accept companies to gain huge profits and create wealth for themselves while producing irreversible damages to our planet. After all, the directors of those big businesses and the customers that buy their brands have a great thing in common, they share our planet. Therefore, customers do not only expect brands to go green but they are also willing to pay more to support those who become sustainable.
In fact, the eco-friendly mindset is rigorously promoted by the Millennial generation who is the biggest customer generation in today’s world. Born at the dawn of the internet, they are the informed customers who feel empowered to pressure brands to change the way they produce and sell their products. Hence, several studies suggest that Millennials are the most willing customers to pay extra money for products and services offered by green businesses.
Why sustainable branding matters?
Customers around the world expect from brands more than sustainable options. They also want greater transparency that proves that sustainability stories are matched by action. Profits must come with principles and proofs that those principles are respected. Numerous surveys show that customers care about the planet and they expect their favorite brands to care as well. Trouble is that eco-friendly does not sell well unless there are persuasive arguments to show that brands take care of the environment and invest in society.
The main principle of sustainable branding is that buying sustainable makes customers feel good. They want to be part of a good initiative that minimizes the damages produced on our planet and choosing to pay only for green offerings gives them the opportunity to feel empowered to do good. That is why addressing social and climate issues in your marketing strategy can make a difference in the business climate of today’s world. It is the most powerful way to raise emotions and experiences in your targeted audience and encourage them to resonate with your brand instead of your competitors. Hot-button issues used as marketing tools work because although customers believe they make their purchasing decisions based on rational choices, in fact, they buy based on their emotions.
How to make your brand sustainable?
Green branding is good for winning the hearts and minds of the customers. But sustainability should not only be relevant to the brand’s image, story, and reputation but should also be viewed as a part of the business. Otherwise, you will fail to give customers and employees an obvious reason to embrace your brand. Financial, social, and sustainable business practices are component to making an honest impact that wins customers. If your brand is not fully sustainable then there are a few steps that you can take to ensure that you conserve resources and lower the carbon footprint your company leaves behind.
- Going paperless is probably the main change your business can make to become eco-friendlier. In today’s digital world, all business data such as documents, contracts, and customer data can be stored with cloud storage services. This will reduce the paper waste your business produces and will ensure that your business data are safely stored and easy to access only by authorized people.
- Implement strategies for recycling your corporate waste by working together with companies that can help you with better waste management and recycling such as Miltek. Also, you can reduce the waste produced by your business by donating old electronics to charities or schools when you are planning to replace them with newer ones.
- Engage your employees in establishing eco-friendly business practices to connect them better with your company’s goals and culture. Raise awareness about the importance of becoming eco-friendlier among your employees and encourage them to adjust to greener practices. Using healthier ways of commuting, using reusable kitchen tools instead of plastic or paper ones, and unplugging electronics before leaving the office are only a few ways you can engage your employees in your cause of reducing the impact of your business on the environment.
Aligning your brand and your business’s sustainability efforts into one unifying story will strengthen the band and give customers and employees a clear reason to choose you. Environmentally sustainable actions and business practices are excellent marketing opportunities used by companies to succeed at winning customers focused on eco-friendly mindset.