Sustainable Marketing: What is it and How to Use It?
Highlights - Today, sustainable marketing is more important than ever because customers are increasingly interested in buying products and services that reflect their personal values. In 2018, a study by Accenture discovered that 63% of customers preferred to buy from purpose-driven businesses, fast forward to 2021, and the number has only increased. According to similar research in 2020, 45% of customers indicated that they were interested in finding businesses that incorporate sustainable practices or are environmentally responsible.
Sustainable marketing is the marketing of environmentally and socially responsible goods, practices, and corporate values. You've experienced it if you ever spent a little extra on something because you knew it was produced locally or 100% recyclable. Businesses can use sustainable marketing for a particular product, a time-sensitive issue, or even as their company's USPs.
Sustainable Marketing Principles and Strategies
Have a Clear and Large Purpose
The standard practice for companies is to evaluate their success based on numbers. The most telling indicator of a company's success is typically its revenue or how much money it will make in any given time period. Sustainability changes this thinking by forcing brands to focus on more than just profits. As a business exploring sustainable marketing, you must create and promote something greater than your products and services that span many industries.
When you have a large and clear purpose, it's easier to make decisions that align with it. This is why sustainable marketing is so important; it can be the unifying force behind all of your decisions. You need to think about the ways in which you can reduce your environmental impact, promote social responsibility, and make a positive contribution to your community.
For example, Autumn Adeigbo, a fashion brand, sells apparel, accessories, and home décor items. It aims to alter women's lives on a worldwide basis, as stated on its website. They accomplish this by using female-owned manufacturing facilities, employing female artisans, and other methods.
Make it Easy for Customers to Join the Cause
Don't make your customers jump through hoops to join your cause; make it easy for them! Include clear calls to action on your website, social media platforms, and marketing materials. You can also host events and workshops that allow customers to learn more about your sustainable practices.
In order to connect with your customers, you need to make the cause personal. This means sharing your company's story and how you got started with sustainable marketing. When customers feel like they're part of the journey, they'll be more likely to stick around and continue supporting you.
Reflect Sustainability in Every Communication Material of Your Brand
If sustainability marketing is not genuine, it won't work. Assume a company that claims to be sustainable has failed to put any strategies in place to promote its cause. Customers would be wary of that brand and might take long to win back trust. Make sure your business is looking at sustainability from a broad perspective.
It's not enough to just have a large and clear purpose; you also need to reflect it in your branding, marketing, and communication materials. This means using images, fonts, and colors that communicate your sustainable values.
For example, Patagonia's logo is a mountain with the word "Patagonia" written across it. The company's website and marketing materials are filled with images of nature and outdoor activities. This reflects their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Remember, audiences don't expect perfection; instead, they desire transparency. It's acceptable and encouraged to reveal where you currently fall short and how you plan to improve things.
Sustainable marketing aims to make your brand look like an active participant in a social or environmental problem. It can humanize your advertising messages and offer another incentive for customers to choose you over your rivals. However, do not underestimate the time and effort required to get involved with environmentally friendly programs.
Sustainable marketing is more than just "buzzwords" and "trendy subjects." It consists of initiatives dedicated to reducing carbon emissions, increasing recyclable materials, and enhancing the future generation's prospects. So, is your company serious about its convictions?