• Clare Allen

5 Ways to Market Sustainability Efforts

A good product is no longer enough to win consumers’ favour. Not only do shoppers want quality, but they want products that align with their ethos. 63% of consumers want marketers to take a stand on environmental values that they care about (reference).

Purchasing products and services from a company that stand for a purpose has become a 'thing'. In today’s business world, consumers look for companies that stand for sustainability.

Marketing to the 'green' or sustainability market is different to marketing mainstream products. The products are held to a higher standard, judged not only on the product’s effectiveness but also on delivering on societal and environmental responsibilities.

Here are 5 key things to remember when doing so;

  1. Make your sustainability efforts genuine. Be true about your sustainability efforts throughout the entire product’s lifecycle. Even the parts that you couldn’t afford to be sustainable in or items that were too difficult to source. The market appreciates honesty.

  2. Market transparently. Consumers are well researched and have come to develop a strong relationship with sustainable companies and brands. They demand transparency. There is nothing more damaging than ‘cheating’ your loyal customers. If you are making any change to your product, communicate it.

  3. Strengthen your core. Corporate social responsibility needs to be at the core of your company’s business philosophy permeating the supply chain all the way through to treating employees fairly. It is not enough to commit to reducing your carbon footprint but mistreat your staff.

  4. Don’t force the consumer to make big tradeoffs—whether it is price, performance, convenience, or a noisy package. Most consumers have not proven that they are willing to make significant sacrifices.

  5. Have patience. Most environmentally friendly consumer behavior requires behavioral changes, and behavioral change takes time. Generation Y and millennial consumers are more apt to embrace this change faster. As more and more companies are jumping on the green bandwagon and eliminating some of the barriers, change will evolve quicker to help shape this shift toward a more sustainable future.

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