Why you need to commit to, then communicate, your green credentials
Written by Louise Sansom
We don’t need to point out the reasons why sustainability needs to be top of our agenda – the news (and the weather) do that for us every day. Consumers expect companies to have ethical and green practices, and more and more brands are doing the right thing by putting these front and centre. Bottom line, consumers prefer sustainable brands.
But there’s confusion. So-called ‘greenwashing’ (the practice of communicating in a way that sounds sustainable while actually being vague or not backing up words with actions) is rife, and the result can often be a backlash, or even worse, a boycott. Consumers need to be able to trust brands, and it’s not always clear who’s genuine and who’s just trying to say the right thing.
Show your audience that your brand values align. Genuinely champion sustainability and ethical practices, authentically demonstrating that you operate with care, compassion, and integrity.
Commit to and then clearly communicate your ethos. Here’s how:
Show that you care
Today’s consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, are led by strong values, and they want their brands to show up in the same way too. Make sure you’re doing your bit to make a positive impact; diversity and inclusion within your company, climate-positive packaging, and eco-friendly delivery methods. Make sure to trace these practices all the way through your supply chain, and then you can shout your causes loud and proud.
Communicate your ethical principles clearly and consistently. If your consumers can see genuine authenticity in your practices, they’ll feel good about supporting your brand. Beware of greenwashing; don’t exaggerate or you’ll risk instant mistrust. In fact, there’s credibility in saying “this is what we’re working on, and this is where we’d like to do better.” Back up your words with actions and evidence. More transparency equals more credibility.
Simply doing your bit for sustainability is no longer enough to set you apart from others – it’s the bare minimum, and not doing so means you risk being left behind. To get ahead of the competition, you need to go above and beyond. Spend time properly interrogating your practices, looking at every element from production to purchase, make sure you are deeply integrating these values across all touchpoints. Then use your brand voice to prove your dedication.
Attract Modern Consumers
These days, consumers are keen to align themselves with a brand’s values, especially when it comes to environmental responsibility. Let your customers know you’re not just talk, but you’re walking the walk too when it comes to eco-friendly practices. This will boost credibility with an eco-minded audience, and gain their loyalty, too, benefiting your business in the long run.
Future-Proof Your Brand
Sustainability is no passing trend. Climate change, plastic pollution, and carbon footprint continue to be high on the agenda of businesses and consumers alike. Brands seen to be pitching in as part of the solution to these problems will thrive in the long run. Adding purpose beyond profits helps to future-proof your brand, keeping you relevant, as well as genuinely benefitting the planet. Who can say no to that?
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