There’s no denying that sustainability is now a crucial factor for businesses when forming and maintaining customer loyalty.
Thanks to campaigns such as Greta Thunberg’s ‘School Strike 4 Climate’, and the documentary sensations of Cowspiracy and Seaspiracy, there’s a growing global awareness about making better environmental choices.
Today’s savvy consumer doesn’t want to purchase products that have a negative environmental or social impact. And this puts the actions of everyday businesses under the microscope.
Where quality and service used to be the deciding factors behind a purchase, now more than two-thirds of consumers also consider the product’s environmental impact. This number is steadily increasing, with younger generations more concerned about sustainability than their predecessors. Gen Z in particular are hyper-aware of their ecological footprint and seek to align themselves with brands and products that share their values.
For businesses, the shift toward sustainable practices can be a slow and costly exercise. But the good news is customers recognise the challenges and costs associated with planet positive actions, and more than half are willing to pay more for a product that has sustainable properties and packaging.
It’s time for businesses to think beyond the (plastic) box. So to avoid getting left behind, follow these tips to boost brand loyalty and get ahead of the green-curve.
- Rethink your packaging
In addition to your existing recycling and waste reduction efforts, get proactive by investigating how your business can improve the way products are packaged and presented to customers. Swapping standard packaging for an eco-friendly alternative will show you’re serious about stemming plastic use in your supply chain. Mail satchels and Tote Bags made from reusable, plant-based materials demonstrate to your customers that your business cares about its impact on the planet as much as they do.
- Create your Corporate Responsibility Pledge
When it comes to greener business practices, the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink’ mantra is starting to sound tired, and businesses who see it as the be-all and end-all are in danger of being left behind in the move towards zero waste. Creating a strong and meaningful Corporate Responsibility Pledge, (sometimes called a Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability Policy), will assure your customers that they are choosing a company that has similar beliefs and values as they do. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to penning a pledge. Just be true to your company values and purpose to create something that is right or your business.
- Support community change
It’s not all about the changes you make within your own four walls. Customers also want companies to help them live more sustainably. This can be achieved by expanding your brand values into community actions. Consider boosting your green profile by sponsoring a community project on a local level. For instance, if your office advocates ‘Take Your Dog to Work Days’, why not extend that value into the community by sponsoring a local dog park with biodegradable doggy-waste bags (they can even be branded with your company logo). This will help drive community connection with your customers and show you share their concerns about the future of the planet.
- Socialise your sustainability
Spread the word about your sustainable vision and the work you’re doing to achieve your environmental mission by continuing to talk about it on your website and social media platforms. Harnessing the power of the social post will let your current and potential customers know about your actions and bring them along on the journey with you.
Businesses that take an active approach to the big environmental issue will better align with their customer’s values. In doing so, they’ll ignite customer love, loyalty and set themselves up for long-term success.