Consumers are more connected to instant information, reviews, and product promotion than ever before. They’re also more knowledgeable on important issues like environmental concerns and the need to foster sustainable, ecologically sound practices in the home and at work. It’s the perfect time to be a sustainable company, yet the way that you market yourself as a green business can make or break your chances of short-term and long-term success.
So you want to go full force when it comes to marketing sustainability? If it’s such a priority to your business that you want your brand to be instantly identifiable as ecologically friendly, you can express it through your main brand, sub brand, or even simply the branding of individual products. For example, one main brand that did this successfully is Seventh Generation; the name of this very green brand references its reverence for successive generations. One company that chose a sub brand is GM with its Ecoimagination. Rainforest Crunch is a brand name of an ice cream flavor by Ben and Jerry’s that they used at its debut to show its support of rain forest protection.
If you’re unsure about which would be the best route for your business to take, try to evaluate how important sustainability is to your target market as well as your overall business plan. If it is not so important to your business that it plays a role in its description, you probably don’t want to pick a brand name based around it.
Keep in mind that an important part of marketing sustainability can be tied to having a certain accreditation if you are trying to appeal to certain consumers. If a customer is passionate about a certain issue or perhaps has a certain health care concern, he may scan each product looking for just an accreditation label before buying it. However, don’t get bogged down in how many green certifications and eco-label accreditation opportunities that are out there. Some are merely schemes, while others hold a great weight in certain niche markets.
Vegan Action has successfully certified many products that have risen to great success. Vegan customers know and trust this certification, and having it on your products can make a big difference. If you are producing food or beauty products that hope to compete in the current wave of sustainable products, this is a wise seal of approval that you want to attain. Do your research before trusting any new organization that proposes to give your company accreditation for its eco-friendly practices.
There is not much of a benefit to your bottom line if you ineffectively market your company’s own efforts to leave a lighter footprint on the earth. It would be far worse, however, to advertise yourself as being environmentally friendly, only for someone to reveal the ways in which your company is contradicting that claim.
Before you market the sustainability of your company, make sure that you can back up any claims you make, and be very specific in the information that you provide. Engage your customers and earn their trust by telling them details about what your current actions are and what your long-term plans are.
When explaining your long-term hopes for improving the sustainability of your brand, it’s actually better to underestimate what you think you’re capable of doing. Customers are always happy to be pleasantly surprised when you deliver more than you promised, but will be mad and quick to remember broken promises.
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