In a way, most marketing is more sustainable now than it’s ever been. You’re not printing out flyers for an event, you’re posting about it on Facebook.
But your customers aren’t thinking about that. If you want to have noticeable sustainable marketing, you have to go bigger (or smaller, if you think about it).
Want to learn more about how going green can help you earn more? Read on below.
Should You Go Green?
Before we get into the actual marketing tips, let’s answer the question all brands and companies have. Is it worth buying more expensive items at wholesale for the “green” label?
Will people actually pay more to help save the earth? The answer is split down the middle, but it leans towards yes. 55% of people from 60 different countries said they’d pay more for sustainability.
And that number comes from a 2014 study. We’re absolutely positive it’s higher, given the recent peak in natural disasters and the 12-year report.
So – yes, you should sell sustainable products. There’s a market, it’s worth the higher wholesale cost, and you can feel good about your business practices.
Now – let’s get into how to get people to spend more with your brand.
Sustainable Marketing: What Does That Even Mean?
Sustainable marketing is both a business and a marketing concept. It’s a newer idea and it’s changing the way businesses view their customers and their shopping habits.
In it’s most concise form, sustainable marketing is: creating and encouraging products that don’t harm future generations.
This is best illustrated through examples.
Let’s look at organic produce. Why do most people buy it? A lot of people site that they didn’t buy organic until they had a family. Their value changed from “I just need food” to “I need food that won’t harm my family.”
They’re now invested in the future generation – their child – living a better life.
Some people don’t just buy organic for its internal benefits. They also buy organic because it has more sustainable farming practices. That means that piece of the earth (hopefully) will produce food for many years to come.
Giving New Meaning to Consumers
Before the idea of sustainable marketing came out, companies saw their customers as money in the bank. And they still do – they need to make a profit.
But sustainable marketing is teaching companies to invest in their customer’s passions. Like eco-friendly practices – even if it means making more reusable products, which customers need to buy fewer of.
Sustainable Marketing Tips
You don’t need to print all your ads on dead leaves to practice sustainable marketing, though that might be cool. You simply need to show your customers that it’s something you’re committed to.
1. Darken Your Website
Did you know that a white screen takes a lot more energy than a black screen? And energy takes resources.
There’s even a dark-screen version of Google you can use to keep your computer from over-using energy.
You can show your consumers you care about the earth and their power bill by using darker colors on your website. You could even install a button or a slider that changes your color scheme – you’ll just have to find a way to show what it does.
How will your customers know that the earth is the reason you chose a dark purple background and not a lavender one? You could write a blog post – look! That’s two pieces of sustainable marketing in one!
2. Use Less Packaging
Some stores put those styrofoam peanuts in their boxes if they’re shipping something off. Those can’t be recycled. If you have to use something to pad your products, you can make it recyclable.
Amazon does this with those air-pocket pads they put in their boxes. A lot of people don’t know this – but those are recyclable.
Using part of the box to tell people exactly how to recycle it is a good idea too. They’ll remember that they learned it from your brand – which is good branding and gives the customer value.
Box size is also something to keep in mind. If you have Amazon, you’ve probably gotten something tiny in a shoe (or bigger) size box. That’s unnecessary, and a waste of resources.
Invest in different sizes of shipping boxes and envelopes so that you’re not wasting packing space.
3. Offer Slower Shipping
This seems counterintuitive to what consumers want but hang in there.
Did you know that some of the air traffic and greenhouse gas pollution comes from delivery vehicles? The faster something has to travel to the consumer, the more resources it uses up.
Amazon encourages people to pick slower shipping speeds by giving them a digital credit, or another incentive. What Amazon doesn’t do is tell their customers why.
You should offer different shipping speeds and let them know why you offer it. You’ll both pay less for the postage and you’re giving the consumer a chance to make a more informed, sustainable decision.
(Amazon is just a good example – we’re not trying to question their practices.)
4. Toot Your Own Horn
If you’re doing something sustainable, your customers aren’t going to know unless you tell them. Did you just open a new store or warehouse and populated it with re-used or re-purposed things?
Think about all those department stores closing all over the country – why not buy those discount racks for your company’s use? (Just a thought).
It’s okay to brag about your own sustainability – visit their site to learn how. People love hearing about ways brands are making changes.
If you’re trying to make your company more eco-friendly, start small scale. Maybe switch to a drip coffee maker instead of an office Keruig. Those little pods are terrible for the environment.
Once you’ve “cleaned your own house” then start offering sustainable changes to your customers. Your sustainable marketing will be a lot more sustainable if the office is already living this new (green) mission.