As pressure mounts on businesses to slash their impact on the environment, many manufacturers have been finding innovative ways of making their products and production processes more sustainable. The benefits of this are twofold: as well as being better for the planet, it’s better for their brand perception too.
Well, that’s the theory.
However, as part of our Great Green Sustainability Study, we found that despite some brands having been proactive about making an effort to become greener, consumers simply don’t know that they’re doing so. No respondents in our focus groups could name, off the top of their heads, any initiative that a brand or retailer had introduced to be more sustainable.
The good news for brands is that our online survey demonstrated that when consumers are made aware of such environmental initiatives, especially those with a financial incentive, they are extremely positive about the brand.
So to put it simply, it’s good for brands to be acting sustainably; but they mustn’t forget to communicate their actions to consumers. Traditionally, marcoms theory has stated that marketing communications must focus on consumer needs rather than ‘internal’ messages, and this may explain why brands have not publicised what they’re doing to green their activities. But consumers now want to hear about what brands are doing, especially with regards to the environment, and when brands get this new element of their publicity right, positivity towards them will improve.