Sustainable Brands: 5 Simple Steps to Become One
Last update: 10 July 2023 at 05:13 pm
Consumers are increasingly interested in brands that are committed to the environment. They want them to become responsible while offering sustainable products.
Becoming a sustainable brand is a real challenge for companies. They need this commitment to boost their attractiveness and increase their sales.
The success of this ambition relies on various marketing actions, such as the use of biodegradable packaging, the reduction of C02 emissions, and the use of products of sustainable origin.
This article will discuss the steps to becoming a sustainable brand and ten examples. You can ask for help from one of our branding agencies to develop or strengthen your commitments.
How to Become a Sustainable Brand?
Promising a social and environmental commitment remains an optional marketing option for companies.
However, becoming a sustainable brand has significant advantages in managing the company’s commercial image and conquering the market.
This marketing strategy arouses new prospects’ interest because it helps build customer loyalty. It guarantees, therefore, the growth and expansion of the company’s horizon.
1- Convince your targets with a well-founded cause
There is a wide choice of marketing actions to capture customers’ attention. We can mention the fight against:
- Improving access to healthcare and education,
- The reduction of waste or the use of recyclable raw materials.
It is, therefore, necessary to start by choosing the cause that the brand will support to carry out its marketing strategies.
It will be a real commitment for each company in the coming years.
2- Choose a commitment that corresponds to the brand’s identity
The chosen marketing action must be conducive to the overall activities of brands that engage in sustainable practices. It must highlight the company’s identity. Therefore, choosing a cause that corresponds to a brand characteristic is essential.
If your commitment is to fight against the high cost of living, you can, for example, encourage your targets to buy at reduced prices.
Also, invite them to fight against food waste by offering medium-quality products that the big stores do not want to sell.
Marketing operations are to be chosen according to the identity and value of the company:
- It is eliminating plastic from product packaging. A company specializing in the manufacture of beer in Spain opts for this commitment by exchanging shrink plastics for recyclable cardboard boxes.
- Commitment to increasing the life span of manufactured items. The goal is to attract the crowd with clothing, shoes, bags, and environmentally friendly and durable accessories. This longevity of products also helps reduce the carbon footprint.
- You are raising awareness for healthy living. In the fight against breast cancer, for example, your company can encourage women to self-examine. You can also educate them on what to do and eat to prevent or fight this deadly disease.
Based on your skills, you can easily find an interesting cause. You must be creative and let your imagination run wild to do so.
3- Prioritize exchanges
The quest for proximity with customers is one of the foolproof marketing strategies to promote a brand. You can organize a discussion session with many consumers.
Take advantage of such an opportunity to discuss subjects your customers don’t dare to discuss daily. They will be free to express their opinions and doubts or misgivings about the brand.
An engaged brand gives more importance to dialogues. It takes advantage of its meeting with its fans to present its operations and emphasize an engaging subject, like recycling or energy saving.
4- Broadcast messages that match your mindset
Forget mass marketing by personalizing your messages. They must also be aligned with your mindset. To do this, you can call on the services of a specialist in auditing your company’s marketing operations and communication strategy.
They will use this information to design inclusive and authentic messages. They must evoke your commitment.
5- Promote brand engagement
Consumers must be informed of the company’s commitment to improving the brand’s image.
To do this, various forms of marketing campaigns are available to you:
- Display print,
- TV spots,
Web media, especially social networks, are also effective in capturing the attention of individuals and professionals in various fields. Use hashtags to impact more targets.
Do not neglect the quality of visuals either. Focus on emotional marketing by releasing fun and original renderings. This way, the engagement will follow a two-way street, as Internet users will not linger to engage in their turn.
10 Examples of Sustainable Brands
Earning consumers’ trust requires a clear commitment to the environment and society.
To create sustainable brands, you can take inspiration from the top 10 interesting marketing operations of companies specialized in various fields.
1- Levi’s recycling and water reduction
Thanks to denim, professionals can create new jeans. However, this material requires a large amount of water, which is detrimental to the ecology. Levi’s took the initiative to reduce the amount of water used by up to 96%.
The company is committed to sustainability during the manufacturing process. It also favors recycling old jeans and using cotton, a material of sustainable origin.
By creating this kind of engaging, appealing content that captures the cinematic codes of the younger generation, the brand is sending a strong message to millennials.
In addition, Levi’s uses influencer marketing with well-known personalities in cinema, football, and environmental activism to support its words. Jaden Smith, Emma Chamberlain, Marcus Rashford, Xiye Bastida, and Melati Wijsen can be seen.
2- Encouraging repair of household appliances, according to Darty
Darty is committed to encouraging users to repair home appliances. According to figures from a recent study, in France, discarded household equipment exceeds 400,000 tons each year.
The company is thus involved in the fight against the early obsolescence of household appliances. It offers two marketing solutions that meet its ambition, including
- specific labeling for appliances deemed reliable and repairable;
- a subscription to repairing household appliances.
3- Reminder of the importance of sorting by Sézane
The brand wants to give a second life to its old clothes and accessories instead of throwing them away. It invites its customers to return to the company the blouses, shirts, or knits signed “Sézanne.”
The recovered items are then sent to their partners and will become recycled materials.
4- Encouraging respect for the soil and biodiversity of Danone and Retail France
The two professionals are joining forces to encourage the French to take a greater interest in new agricultural practices. Thus, they will intervene in turn to finance projects for the benefit of farmers.
The objective is to promote marketing actions that respect the soil, biodiversity, and the well-being of wildlife.
To do this, Danone and Retail France are launching two techniques, including :
- The operation allows paying a part of the price of a product to finance the projects of farmers engaged in sustainable marketing operations.
- A vote for each click is made on the Auchan.fr website. The themes addressed are organic farming, biodiversity, and soil preservation.
5- Changing driving behavior, according to AXA Prévention
As a sustainable brand, AXA Prévention focuses on accident prevention. According to a recent study, 70% of French people admit to never taking their smartphone off the wheel. AXA Prévention encourages drivers to change their behavior while driving.
AXA Prévention uses a variety of channels and media to spread its messages, including TV spots, podcasts, and publications on its website and social networks.
6- The fight against plastic, according to Dove
The sustainable brand highlights three commitments:
- The fight against plastic
- The use of less plastic
- The use of the best plastic
It wants to reduce its production of this harmful material by 2025.
Dove is conducting various marketing operations to do this by replacing plastic packaging with coatings made from other biodegradable materials.
Shampoo and cream containers will be designed using 100% recyclable plastic. The brand is also preparing to manufacture stainless steel deodorant sticks to meet consumer demands better.
7- H&M and the use of organic materials
H&M has become one of the many sustainable clothing brands within the fashion industry by committing itself to preserving biodiversity. It has just launched a collection of 100% natural and sustainable materials, such as recycled polyester, nylon, and organic cotton.
The company is committed to reducing its environmental footprint by exclusively using eco-friendly fabrics and sustainable design processes.
Its ambition is to use only sustainable materials by 2030. Thus, it is one of those brands that meet the requirements of its customers.
8- Product quality control at Lidl
By controlling the quality of foodstuffs, the brand avoids waste. It collects perishable products in crates and contributes to zero waste. The crates are even made of cardboard: recyclable packaging.
They concern fruits, vegetables, flowers, and bread whose condition does not meet the expectations of the most demanding. These products are then offered at low prices in supermarkets.
9- Clean and healthy makeup from Milk Makeup
More than 70% of women wear makeup before going out every morning. They now want the companies involved in this sector to behave like real brands committed to biodiversity.
Without being harmful, Milk Makeup products are vegan. They are made of natural raw materials and animal by-products. Thus, The brand favors awareness of makeup’s impact on the environment and ecology.
It promotes “healthy beauty” by removing certain ingredients from its products, such as sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils.
10 – Nestlé and reusable packaging
The company is now among sustainable brands committed to the environment. It starts by reworking its product packaging for its marketing and environmental strategy.
By 2050, its packaging will be both recyclable and reusable.
The brand wants to respond to constructive criticism dating back to 2018. Once acquired, it is poised to become one of the big players in reducing carbon emissions.
Beware of Green Washing or Social Washing
To not disappoint targets, a brand must deliver on its values and promises. Consumers are undoubtedly interested in any subject related to the preservation of ecology. This is why green marketing is essential in our society today.
This is why many companies want to be eco-friendly. It is, therefore, essential not to make the mistake of not reviewing one’s ecological commitments.
What is greenwashing?
Also called “greenwashing” or “greening,” greenwashing is a marketing process aiming at spreading a misleading ecological argument to its targets. It can consist in changing the packaging to promise healthy and green elements.
A brand can add plants, flowers, or fruits to the packaging. However, these natural ingredients are only in small quantities in the product.
Nevertheless, when the consumer sees the packaging, he or she is already happy to have purchased a natural, healthy, and ecological item. Greenwashing is therefore considered a completely illegal practice.
Some concrete examples of greenwashing
Greenwashing takes different forms:
- Detour of attention. In 2011, H&M launched a collection of clothes made of environmentally friendly materials, including Econyl, 100% recyclable, and organic cotton. It ended up diverting the attention of its targets with marketing actions emphasizing environmental commitments. It has also launched operations that do not correspond to this communication.
- The problem of transparency. In 2009, the EDF campaign promises a commitment to ecology. It concerns energy change, which aims to encourage the general public to use energy solutions. The objective is to fight global warming. However, EDF only devotes about 2% of its research and development budget to this project.
How to Be Sponsored by a Sustainable Brand in 3 Steps
Sponsorship is a trendy communication technique to promote their brand. It is a marketing tool that conveys the company’s image, value, identity, and commitment.
With a convincing case and launching an event corresponding to its commitment, you have a better chance of being sponsored by sustainable brands.
1- Organize an eco-responsible event
By adopting an exemplary approach, an association, a community, or a group of students can easily convince sustainable brands.
They will not hesitate to sponsor operations based on the fight against pollution or reducing carbon emissions.
2- Choose an eco-responsible location
Whether indoors or outdoors, sustainable brands are interested in places where the ecological impact of the event will be minimized.
Choose a venue that is accessible on foot or by public transportation. You are also advised to favor eco-responsible buildings.
3- Writing the sponsorship request
The sponsorship request must be both clear and precise. Sustainable brands prefer detailed requests that include figures.
Also, avoid long texts and personalize your request with your association’s identity, values, and motivations.