Discover sustainable marketing strategies that leverage eco-friendly practices to create a positive brand impact. Explore innovative ways to promote your brand while contributing to a greener future. Learn about environmentally conscious campaigns, responsible messaging, and ethical consumer engagement.
What is sustainable marketing, and how should you use it to have a positive brand impact?
Sustainable marketing is a better way to promote your company’s eco-friendly practices and aspects as long as you get it done right.
It is natural for any business to use all of its genetic makeup to promote itself and have a positive brand impact in its market. For example, SMEs more commonly use grassroots beginnings or a center focus to give them an outstanding tone of voice. At the same time, larger companies pride themselves on winning industry awards and having a positive brand impact.
Sustainable marketing is one of the strategies that is becoming more famous for companies looking to make their mark. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is coming up as a more common brand value, with the latest Conference of Parties (COP) highlighting its 2023 set of objectives as:
- limiting emissions
- Helping countries adapt
- Climate finance
Governments, businesses, and individual consumers share responsibility for the climate crisis. Sharing your eco-friendly practices and credentials could help you win more business accounts with a positive brand impact or enhanced customer loyalty, depending on your goals.
However, carefully planning and executing sustainable marketing is essential, or your brand can leave itself open to scrutiny.
What is sustainable marketing, and how do eco-friendly practices prove helpful?
Sustainable marketing promotes socially and environmentally responsible products, different practices, and diversifying brand values. If you have ever spent a little bit more on something because you thought it was locally sourced or completely recyclable, you have experienced sustainable marketing.
Sustainability marketing is one of the aspects of how you choose to position your brand impact, but it can be extremely powerful, as the examples show below.
If you are looking for strategic marketing solutions to manage how your brand is perceived in your customer’s minds, look at our new brand positioning template for Business Members.
Remember, all our branding and marketing tools are incorporated across our RACE Growth System, designed to help you use digital marketing smarter to achieve your goals.
Examples of sustainable marketing
There are several approaches businesses could take to becoming more sustainable, such as:
- Donating profits to sustainable causes
- Sourcing sustainable materials and packaging
- Creating any product that contributes to sustainable living
Donating profits to sustainable marketing causes
Sustainable commerce leaders, Patagonia, have pledged 18 of sales to the restoration and preservation of the environment since 1987. In 2022, that means a total of $150 million so far. They have also set a goal to be completely carbon neutral by 2025.
Sourcing sustainable materials and packaging
Household cleaning products supplier, Smol, offers their customers cleaning spray tablets that easily dissolve in water and can be used with spray bottles that can be rebuilt to eliminate single-use plastic products.
Showing the need and importance of keeping your products relevant, smol currently offers refillable dispensers, aluminum hand sanitizer, and other plastic-free cleaning innovations.
Building a product that contributes to sustainable living
Of course, one more approach would be to plan a business that is entirely centered around sustainability, such as Treedom, one of the members of the B Corporation Certification, verified by B Laboratory to meet high standards of social commerce and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
Treedom enables individuals and businesses to gift and sponsor trees and gives an interface where receivers can look at a personalized webpage about their tree.
How to implement your sustainable marketing strategies
The above three companies give just a few examples of how you and your small business can start to build sustainable marketing strategies.
You can reach an increased number of customers with sustainability messages across some paid, mostly owned, and earned media channels. Or, sustainability messages help you focus on your basic personas’ pain points and improve your checkout rate of conversion.
Only some people have a completely integrated digital marketing strategy. If that is you, sustainability marketing is a great starting point to build a plan with a few easy steps.
Wherever you are in your digital sustainable marketing journey, we have marketing tools and templates to help. That is why we recommend our RACE Growth System. Begin your journey today by building your integrated across our popular RACE Framework of plan,ninety-day marketing plan, its reach, act, and convert to engage.
As a member, you will also unlock more upgraded strategies and planning solutions to drive the success of your company’s campaigns and always-on marketing activities.
Three principals of sustainable marketing and its brand impact
As with any other related brand initiative, you should consider the context of the issue you are facing and how and why your brand fits as a solution in the customer’s mind.
Of course, you will also want to define your goals regarding your sustainable action and its impact on your brand so that your progress can be measured and celebrated.
The three key aspects of sustainable marketing are:
Your plan is long-term.
Social commerce and environmental issues are extremely large and must be tackled more often than seasonal promotions.
The public knows abrupt change is just not possible. So you need an objective that targets high-scale change over a large timeframe.
To check the longevity of your plan, ask yourself:
- Does your company have the means to maintain this sustainability program consistently?
- Does your sustainability program deal with a long-term issue that will be beneficial to connect to in 10-20 years?
- Are you prepared to take a short-term loss to adopt your new practices and build towards long-term gainfully?
Your plan is consistent.
It is quite easy and simple to tell your customers that one of the aspects of your brand. For instance, it is an eco-friendly practice. However, what about other elements?
For instance, imagine your brand is selling a drink. In addition, you want to switch to new and better ingredients that are well and sustainably sourced. But are the bottles you sell that beverage recyclable? What about the labels used on the bottle?
This problem was considered when McDonald’s replaced its plastic straws with paper ones. Due to the thickness of the newly prepared straws, the company stated that they were not yet easily recycled. Thus, processed by the company’s waste solution providers. This was so they should be placed in the category of general waste. The story soon broke in the press:
Even though the processors of the straws, Transcend Packaging. It’s stated to clarify that they were recyclable. Which story do you believe received the most attention and discussion on social media?
Your strategy is completely integrated across your eco-friendly practices business.
With Socialpod being a champion of integrated sustainable marketing, this may not come as a surprise to you. Still, your sustainable marketing strategy is just as strong as the marketing plan you have made for it. At the bare minimum, we recommend the following checks:
- Research how competitors are employing sustainable marketing
- Audit your customer journey to ensure your sustainable messages come through sensibly. Also, appropriately at every stage in the marketing funnel.
- Cross-reference basically messages in various other campaigns and always-on activity to ensure consistency.
- Brief staff and stakeholders for example, marketing, sales, and product) on your sustainable marketing messages. Also, where to look for the basic information.
- You can continue to check and scan the environmental landscape deeply and be prepared to make changes.
Our RACE Growth System helps you manage all aspects of planning, managing, and optimizing your digital marketing strategy. All in an easy-to-use, easy-to-follow framework proven to get results. Download your free guide today.
The main aim of sustainable marketing is to position your brand. This promotes it as an active figure in a societal or environmental issue. It can humanize your brand impact and messages and create another reason customers should choose you over your competition.
But take into account the commitment required to participate in sustainable initiatives. These are not simple ‘buzzwords’ or ‘hot topics’. There are some programs dedicated to reducing carbon emissions. In doing so improving and increasing recyclable materials, and improving prospects for the next generation.