Consumers have become increasingly concerned with environmental responsibility and how their everyday lives can better reflect their commitment to an eco-friendly way of life. There’s a considerable connection between a consumer’s sustainability values and the brands they support as well as their purchasing decisions.
Brands that support the future of our planet are hot commodities in the marketing world because more people are drawn to sustainable brands across all industries. More and more businesses are choosing to build brands that are committed to the health and longevity of our environment and its customer base. These businesses will need marketing professionals that can leverage the benefits and specialties of a sustainable brand to build a loyal customer base and industry presence.
Marketers will need to master specific tools and approaches to market sustainable brands effectively if they want to keep up with their increasing demand. Here is a short overview of the increasing demand for sustainable products and key tips for marketers to best market sustainable brands/products.
The Increasing Demand for Sustainable Products
The increasing demand for sustainable products can be attributed to the growing “conscious consumer” trend and businesses realizing the benefits of producing sustainable products. Consumers are being further influenced by their awareness of how what they do impacts the health of the environment. They’re looking to make positive purchasing decisions that consider the combined social, environmental, political, and ecological impacts of a product or service.
The increase in demand for sustainable products is so apparent that some businesses are unethically participating in what’s called “greenwashing” — which is when a brand advertises itself as environmentally-friendly just to capitalize on the increasing popularity of sustainability, not because they are a wholly sustainable brand. This speaks to sustainability trending upward in the minds of consumers.
Best practices for marketing a sustainable brand depend tremendously on the understanding that the demand for sustainable products and services is only increasing. As we battle some of the most significant climate challenges and environmental woes to date, marketers play an important role in relaying the incredibly positive impact these brands are making on our environment.
How to Best Market Sustainable Brands/Products
Nearly 70% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada think it is important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly. As businesses accommodate this growing consumer base, it’s equally important for marketers to employ marketing strategies and approaches specific to sustainable brands. Here are 8 ways to best market sustainable brands/products:
Use brand colors and imagery that represent sustainability
Choose the right color palette for your brand aesthetic that communicates sustainability to your customer. Green is an obvious choice for environmentally-friendly brands, but blues and browns also signal sustainability to a consumer. You can also use imagery like leaves, trees, and water droplets to represent the eco-friendliness of your brand message.
Take advantage of cross-platform advertising and brand partnerships
Successful sustainable brands are already out there. Don’t be afraid to leverage their already existing networks and customer bases by forming some sort of partnership with them.
Work to build a relationship with them first through your support of their brand initiatives. Then introduce a potential partnership plan that includes cross-platform advertising or another form of promotion that benefits both of you. When customers see you associated with an already established sustainable brand, they’ll be more inclined to see you as a sustainable brand as well.
Consider partnering with nonprofits
Partnering with a nonprofit that supports the health of our environment could be the deciding factor in a customer’s decision to purchase with your brand versus another. Associate your brand with a good cause and showcase your genuine commitment to helping the planet survive. Consider doing campaigns for a certain line of products that include a portion of the proceeds going to that nonprofit.
Explore influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is for sustainable brands too. Find top environmental influencers to partner up with to promote certain products and services of yours that align with their initiatives and efforts. Consumers are more likely to listen to an influencer than a promotional ad or brand message.
Tell the truth and be open with your customers and potential clients when it comes to your sustainability efforts. People are interested in everything from the materials you use, to the working conditions, all the way to the production process. Give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand often so they feel there’s a level of honesty and authenticity they can count on.
Millennials and Gen Zers are leading the sustainability movement
According to Sprout Social, young people are leading the sustainability movement. Millennials and Gen Zers are driving the movement with a strong belief that companies have a responsibility for addressing environmental and social issues. This information needs to be at the forefront of your marketing strategy for sustainable brands to ensure you’re connecting with and serving this huge group of consumers.
Leverage sustainable packaging
Not only do sustainable products matter, sustainable packaging does too. Product packaging can absolutely impact your marketing strategy, because you want your eco-friendly efforts to reflect across the entire company, across the entire product, across your whole approach. This type of consistency resonates well with customers and you should use it to further connect with their values.
Use digital marketing channels to reduce waste
Your commitment to sustainability should also be reflected in the way you market your brand. The eco-friendly benefits of digital marketing should be prioritized over any traditional marketing strategies. Digital marketing channels significantly reduce waste all while connecting you with a wider audience.
The demand for sustainable products and businesses that construct their brand around their sustainability efforts is only increasing. Consumers are requiring brands to effectively address social and environmental issues as well as participate in the solutions to both. Marketers will be required to educate themselves on ways to market sustainable brands and have a responsibility in sharing their positive influence on our planet. Marketers serve as the link between sustainable brands and their huge pool of consumers ready to save the world one purchase at a time.