Can a sustainable marketing strategy influence the world? Sustainability has not only become the latest marketing trend but also an expectation of your clients.
These days, clients don’t buy products anymore. They buy the story your brand is telling.
The brand values, the quality of the products and the customer experience have taken over the decision-making.
Implementing a sustainable marketing strategy is not only big talk, it demands several criteria to be successful. Now that clients have become so much more powerful on social media, you don’t want to be accused of greenwashing.
Embrace positive impact
Make your customers part of the change. You could for example tackle food waste in the retail store and help your customers do the same at home.
Besides that, it’s important to educate them about your efforts. This way, they can make informed decisions when buying a product.
Have a transparent communication style
Make transparency your communication style.
Don’t say you are perfect, but set a clear direction. Explain what you are doing to improve your sustainability and don’t “greenwash” your stories.
Everything you say needs to be tangible, your materials need to be certified and you need to be as honest as possible.
Take a look at Colruyt: when they introduced their reusable bags for fruits and vegetables, they thoroughly explained their extensive research to find the most sustainable materials for these bags.
On top of that, they’re transparent about how sustainable the material is, where the bags are manufactured, and what the differences are with other sustainable products.
Go for zero waste
Start with rethinking the whole process and be creative with recycling.
Close your manufacturing cycle, thus means maintaining environmental standards throughout the industrial cycle in order to limit the consumption of natural raw materials and reduce environmental impact.
The cradle to cradle approach – which seeks to create production techniques that are not just efficient, but also waste free – is on the rise.
Take the Taiwanese personal care manufacturer Hair O’right for example. The brand launched a shampoo from coffee waste, packaged in biodegradable bottles made from the same coffee waste.
They embedded it with coffee seeds the consumer can use to bury in the soil.
Take full responsibility for your impact
Use the total value chain to support a better way of life. Have dialogues with the right partners to make the change happen together.
Many years ago Ikea was accused of child labor. As a response, Ikea did not only make sure their factories didn’t work with children anymore.
They went beyond their business to help improve the lives of children. Together with Unicef, Ikea used the whole value chain to support a better quality of life and to protect child rights.
Make sustainability affordable
Stop investing in old ideas, but invest in new ones. Lower your product costs, use the whole supply chain and be creative.
This way, sustainability becomes affordable for everyone.
Lead the change
Lead the change so that other businesses will react on that. Sustainability may not only be “a “nice to do” but needs to be a “must do”. Choose to maximize your positive impact on the world as a business.
The strategy of Tony Chocolonely is not to be unique with their 100% slave free chocolate. They want everyone in the same supply chain to do what they do, so that it can become the new standard.