How to Create a Sustainable and Green Brand
By Angela Donoso - Updated August 25, 2020
Today I will show you some of our great tips and recommendations when branding your business green and/or sustainable. We want to create green and sustainable brands.
Specifically, I’ll show you why businesses and the big corporations are branding themselves as green. Things that you should avoid when doing so and how to build a successful green brand.
Let‘s dive right in.
Why create a green and sustainable brand?
Green & sustainable are popular terms that in recent years. Rightly so, since consumers nowadays are more aware of how their choices are impacting the environment.
Environmental protection has become one of the top priorities for individuals and companies around the world.
A study found that 75 % of millennials are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social change. A more recent report by CDP in 2017 found that sustainable brands get an 18% higher return on their investment than businesses without a CSR strategy.
Going green is nothing new and slowly more and more companies are making bigger efforts to transform their operations and products into a greener and sustainable one.
These big changes come from the fact that today’s consumers are changing the way they buy. Buyers want to feel an affinity with their favorite brands, they want to buy from companies that share their same ideals.
Ultimately, sustainable and green branding strategies have become a way for companies to supply the consumers demand that they do not only want to buy your products and services. They want to support important ideals, visions, and purposes and belong to a community that cares.
Here I will share with you some green & sustainable branding tips and ideas that will help you connect with your target audience.
First, let’s understand…
What is Green and Sustainable branding?
Sustainable and green branding is the process of creating and maintaining the identity of a specific product, service, or business that reflects the special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits.
Such brands can build stronger relationships with consumers that are becoming more aware of the environmental impacts.
As opposed to green branding, which mostly focused on the environmental side of the business. Sustainable branding also takes into account the social dimension of creating those products and services.
This means it makes sure the consumption level is as sustainable as the production level. Overall is aiming to create environmental, social, and financial sustainability in all of its processes.
Having a green and sustainable brand can add a points to your brand image, can boost sales and help you built a great base of loyal consumers.
Creating a green and sustainable brand can be challenging at times. It requires in many cases structuring all the processes of your business and transforming your vision and goals.
In some cases, profits might be at risk but also, we have seen how companies benefit from taking the leap and making these changes.
See, for example, Patagonia gave away all their 2016 black Friday profit to organizations dedicated to protecting the environment. They knew that making these drastic decisions will improve their relationship with their customers. Later the brand still made a whopping $10 million in profits after giving those initial profits away.
Now that we understand what green and sustainable brands are, it’s time for me to walk you through the step-by-step process of branding your business.
Know your WHY connect with your purpose
Transitioning into a fully sustainable business usually comes from a deeper place. We can show and say how many things we are doing to help the environment but there will not be much progress and results if there is not a real connection at the core.
The challenge usually appears when trying to show business owners the connection of their actions and the environment. Even when, changing those activities into some more sustainable ones sometimes reflect in returns on their investment.
There must be a why strong enough for you to be willing to make drastic decisions that will, later on, be reflected in your brand.
Sustainability needs to mean more to you than just another way to market yourself.
When on-boarding any of our clients we usually start with why!
Giving structure to your why will align everything, from your employees to your marketing strategies and the way you share your story.
That brings us to…
Sustainable branding, PR, and advertising always come to telling a story. Usually, we always find awesome stories behind any green and sustainable initiatives.
You want your story and what you stand for to be reflected in everything you do, from your company name, logo, slogan, and messages, make sure people understand not only your products and services but what you stand for.
Remember your story needs to be relevant to the products you offer. You can not create a water waste reduction campaign when your company is a technological one that rarely deals with water.
Make sure your story is coherent with what you stand for, your products and services.
Be careful with your how
Now that you find ways to share your message you have to make sure that all your services and products are aligned with them as well.
You can not lecture about the impact of plastic in the sea and have 3 inches of plastic in your packaging.
Be very careful when designing your products and make sure that they are aligned with what you are trying to communicate. Be transparent, honest, and authentic in everything you do. Consumers are looking for more genuine and truthful companies.
Be aware of the claims you are creating at the moment of advertising it because in many cases it can transform into greenwashing.
Green & sustainable is not everything
One huge miss conceptions of companies today is that they must highlight the greenest and environmental efforts.
Yes, consumers love when brands have sustainable and green initiatives. But it is shown that millennials not only buy for this purpose only.
They want more!
They want to feel they are buying a great quality product that makes them cool, that has the best technology and on top of that is green and sustainable.
When trying to market your product, understand your consumers, and think that they are looking for the BEST product available focus on why you have the best solution in every way. You can’t just be the most sustainable, environmentally friendly, etc.
If your company markets themselves as the “best” with the support of a sustainable supply chain, that’s when consumers get interested!
See example of Tesla. They do not sell how green they are. They sell sexy, premium, latest technology and high quality cars that also helps the environment.
Create a community
Sustainable and green branding is all about the community. Bring people together with the same ideals.
How do you find them?
Create and structure user personas to help you understand more who are you targeting.
Build connections with them through content, share on social media, make videos, and podcast.
Show don’t tell
Don’t just tell your customers you are helping the world to be a better place, give them full insight on how you are doing it, materials, processes. Show them how your employees have sustainable practices in their daily lives, taking them inside your business and show them your green initiatives in action.
Get your community to involve.
Let your community be part of your goals. Run challenges, help them be involved in charities. Share how you are donating your profits to nonprofits organizations. Make them feel are they are part of these initiatives and that together you can do so much more.
Create your strategy and invest in green marketing
In a world where it getting more difficult to differentiate your self. Having a green brand could be the answer.
After all, standing out from your competitors can be achieved when we build meaningful connections with our customers. Today customers like to purchase from businesses that share their values.
While creating your sustainable brand can be challenging and requires a lot of changes it can lead to a strong reputation and better profits.
Sustainable and green branding is a long term strategy that will create great benefits for your organizations.
Whether you are a starting out or need a green and sustainable branding and marketing strategy…
We work exclusively with brands that are looking to have a positive impact on this planet. We go deep on your purpose, define the best ways to share your message and scale that community you already have.
Get in touch with our marketing strategist and let’s change the world!