Over the last decade, the public’s concern about our environment’s health has continued to accelerate. Sustainable brands are no longer a luxury, but an expectation of doing business. Since 2019, consumers’ sustainability considerations have increased from 71% to 83%. This trend is expected to continue, and brands that are not prioritizing sustainability will be left behind.
Spread the Word
If you’ve already taken steps toward sustainability, your consumers may not be aware. Whether you’re focusing on cutting down on water usage or you’re working toward becoming 100% recyclable, it is key to spotlight your hard work. A simple change in brand messaging can make a big difference.
Iconic denim brand, Levi’s, for example, has recently made sustainability messaging a priority. Durable denim has always been a part of their DNA, but with a subtle shift in positioning, choosing Levi’s is now a way to contribute less waste to the world. Buy a pair of Levi’s and you won’t have to buy a new pair for a long while. Plus, Levi’s has been committed to using less water in their denim production since 2012. Although this information could be found on their website, they’ve only been overtly speaking to these efforts in ad campaigns for the last year or so.
But Beware of Greenwashing
Shifting your brand messaging is one simple and effective way to make sure you are a part of the green revolution, but you must be mindful of “greenwashing.” Greenwashing is when a company spends more time and money showing off their supposed sustainable practices than they do on actually minimizing their environmental impact. Just like anything else in marketing, consumers crave authenticity and can easily sniff out false or exaggerated promises. Most marketers don’t greenwash their messaging with the intention of being deceptive – it’s often due to being overly eager. So, how do you avoid excess enthusiasm when it comes to crafting your sustainability messaging?
Avoid Fluffy, Meaningless Words. Don’t slap vague messaging on your product or service without explanation. Words like “eco-friendly” have little meaning when not supported by clear reasons why.
Be Consistent. Don’t market or create an environmental product to capitalize on this consumer trend if your company is actively wasteful or even harmful in other areas. If you create a green product, production of that product must also be responsible (or at least on its way there) to ensure consumers don’t feel duped by disingenuous claims.
Don’t Mislead with Imagery. Adding rolling hills and blooming flowers to your bottled water label might seem like a good way to cue refreshment, but it’s somewhat misleading to consumers if the plastic you use is contributing to our ever-growing waste problem.
Make a Difference in More Ways Than One
Whether your brand is already working toward sustainability or looking to make a start, try to prioritize it with any new product development. There are many simple methods for going greener in a way that is authentic to your brand, and even more reasons to do so.
According toNielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66% of consumers would spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand, and that figure jumps to 73% among millennials.
So where do you start?
- Go Paperless.
Are you still sending direct mail to your consumers? Or even using a lot of paper and printer ink in-office on unnecessary printouts or memo circulation? Consider digitizing where you can. Some businesses have even gone so far as to digitize their business cards, as technology has advanced in such a way that physical copies are no longer needed.
- Be Mindful of Your Partners.
When sourcing packaging, or even branding or design services, it’s important to do your research and ensure that everyone you associate your brand with shares your values. You don’t want to innovate a new product that promises to give back, and then have it bottled by a company that is dumping waste into the sea.
- Create a Campaign that Gives Back.
Whether it’s long term or just for a season, one tried-and-true way to make a difference is through donation to worthy causes. Consider tying an existing product or innovating a new one that gives back with each purchase made, giving consumers yet another reason to purchase.
Valued Soulsight partner, Coors Seltzer, is a prime example of innovating a product with the purpose of giving back. Coors Seltzer was created to not only capitalize on the hard seltzer boom, but to also do good in the process. Marketed as the first and only hard seltzer with a mission to restore America’s rivers, Coors Seltzer restores up to 500 gallons of river water with every 12pack purchased, giving consumers a feel-good reason to choose them in a crowded category.
At the end of the day, striving to make a difference in the world can also make a difference in your bottom line. So, whether you are shifting messaging to reflect your responsibility, in the midst of overhauling processes, or innovating new ways to give back to the environment, going green benefits everyone and should be a primary focus for the future.
Ready to take the leap into green practices and sustainable products? Don’t strategize alone. Let’s talk about how we can help your brand make moves toward sustainability.