The research is in and it makes for damning reading. Around 33% of customers prefer sustainable brands and will make sacrifices to help the planet. And, the stats get better the deeper you delve. For millennials, shopping sustainability is a top priority and is a criterion they use to choose between brands. As a result, some companies are missing out on a reported £820 million by not pushing eco-friendly features. In short, it’s essential to be on the side of Mother Nature in the 21st century.
More and more businesses are adopting green practices as they understand the More and more businesses are adopting green practices as they understand the benefits are twofold. Not only do you get a boost in sales, profits and awareness, but you get to do some good in the world. Because, let’s face it – we all need to lower our plastic consumption and impact on the environment. The latter point shouldn’t be overstated because it’s a bug which is hard to kill once you catch it.
Still, doing your bit may not be enough. One of the reasons there is a reported £800 million left on the table is down to perception. Businesses are fighting the good fight yet their base, and the wider public has no idea. To them, the industry is full of fossil-fuel-using dinosaurs with only a handful of shining lights. As such, it’s imperative to show shoppers that you are on their side. Below are the ways which can help.
If you’re on the ball marketing-wise, there is probably an email blast which goes out every day or couple of days. This messaging service is an excellent way to tell your base you are going green. All you need to do is write a short post about the way the office is changing. As long as it syncs with how it will improve their service, it shouldn’t be too spammy. One of the best segways is paperless technology.
Without a hard copy being posted through their letterbox on a regular basis, you’re going to need their contact details. Those that want to carry on receiving correspondence will duly oblige. Plus, they’ll put two and two together without it being spelled out in plain English. You’re reducing the office’s paper output, which is why you’re looking to update the contact list.
Customers aren’t stupid and will be able to recognise the link between emails and fewer dead trees. Too often, businesses treat their shoppers as if they are uneducated and don’t understand basic concepts. As a rule, this is a mechanism to hide your anxiety at them not getting the point. Let subtlety win the day by chipping away with small yet effective links and reminders.
Of course, you can always go in the other direction. Yes, people often don’t care for grand gestures, but, in this instance, they do work. The reason is simple: you’re doing something positive. As long as people benefit from the partnership, they won’t care if the content is a little self-indulgent. All that matters is that the less fortunate, and the planet, are receiving the investment they deserve.
Some businesses go down the traditional route and opt for conservational work in emerging countries. If this is too much, you can sponsor a local event in the community and stump up the cash. What this does is show that you care enough to organise the get-together, which will raise awareness of the brand. Plus, it takes care of the indulgent part of the process. Although the company name is everywhere for everybody to see, you often take a back seat and let others be the face of the event. If they give thanks, that’s a bonus because it’s a recommendation from a trusted customer source.
Of course, the sponsorship has to be something which is popular. There is no point in trying to boost your green profile by going into business with a car dealership. The fact vehicles give off tons of CO2 a day won’t be lost on the consumers.
Announce a Deal
You vowed to clean up the supply line and did so by agreeing to new deals with eco-friendly partners. However, because you didn’t want to come across as showy, you decided to let the agreements go under the radar. Of course, the current situation is that nobody knows about the deals and how much you’ve invested in going green. So, the alternative is to announce a partnership every time you broker a transaction.
It doesn’t have to be overly dramatic – there’s no need for lights, cameras and action. The arrangement has to warrant the fuss for the media to get involved and push your agenda. Instead, you can put it in the company’s digital newsletter and write-up a colourful piece about the pros of the new pact. Again, it’s something which adds value because it directly impacts customers and their interactions with the firm.
Remember that the partner has to be almost infallible if the deal is going to work. Whispers of them being in bed with other, non-environmentally-friendly groups will result in a lot of negative PR. And, you’ll get tarnished with the same brush. Therefore, do your research and ask them who their current partners are and why. All it takes is a Google search to figure out whether they belong on the naughty list this Christmas.
Deck Out The Shop
Eco-friendly products say everything there is to say about your commitment to the planet. Customers will take one look and register that the items are organic and local-sourced for their benefit. That’s why it’s important to structure the shop in a particular way, a lot like supermarkets do to enhance sales. Firstly, it’s important to put the most eye-catching items at the front and centre of the store. This sets the tone for the shoppers who walk through the door.
Another option is to upcycle rubbish and use it within the space. Reclaimed wood tables in coffee shops work wonders because they are beautiful and green. Thanks to their deep, dark colours, they stand out a mile; plus, wood absorbs CO2 and reduces your footprint. Or, there are paint tins. Rather than adding them to the local landfill site, you can clean them out and put them over lights as shade. Alternatively, fill them with soil so that plants and flowers can grow. Nothing says “environment” better than natural greenery.
Don’t forget the online shop, either. Products come with descriptions, and they are the perfect opportunity to explain the item and why it adds value. For customers who want to help the planet, they like nothing more than to hear about green features.
Install Energy-Saving Tactics
There are lots of renewable energy-saving methods available today. The two most popular and effective are solar panels and wind turbines. Although there are cons, such as the cost, they do come with advantages too. As well as cutting the business’s overhead bill, they are very conspicuous. Install either on the roof or outside of the office -and people will notice. And, there is only one conclusion they can come to this company cares about the planet.
Now, you shouldn’t use renewable energy sources just for the PR; the expenses may put you out of business. So, it’s essential that it makes sense financially beforehand. That means analysing whether there is money in the budget and if it’s possible to bag a bargain. But, it also suggests thinking about the long-term nature of the lease. Any business which plans on moving in the next five years won’t experience the benefits. Your headquarters should be the base of the company for the foreseeable future.
However, if it is feasible, don’t be afraid to point out the fact they are in use. This is the perfect post for a newsletter or an online blog as it’s interesting. People want to know how modern firms are bracing themselves for the 21st century and what it takes. Another option is biofuel if you have the technology and the means.
You’re a business, which means you sell services to customers for a fee. Typically, companies like to stick to their tried and tested areas of expertise. If they are in IT, the chances are nothing will deviate from the industry? How can it when all you understand is how to fix computers and get them back online. It’s because going green transcends sectors.
Nowadays, every industry knows how to lower its carbon footprint with certain techniques. Take IT professionals as examples. The vast majority should be able to show you how to use less power and waste less energy with a few handy hints. If they can’t, they aren’t very good at their job. This means you can merge your services with the consumer’s need to save the earth.
All you have to do is to find out a way to add them to your product list, which isn’t tricky. Merely focus on how your company does it and offer the same option to your base.
The reality is it only takes a couple of small changes to help the planet. And, the same applies to the process spreading the word about your achievements.