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By Berry Levine
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Sustainable marketing is the promotion of more environmentally friendly practices in business while making it a key selling point of the product or service. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact many large corporations as well as themselves have on the environment. It is evident that the uncompromising growth sought after by most manufacturing companies and mass producers are unsustainable and will deprive the Earth of natural resources in the near future. Hence, customers are selective about where they spend their money and are willing to spend more to have the assurance that their money is not being used for exploitation and that the product that they purchase was created using sustainable means. Therefore, sustainable marketing can be defined as the process of delivering value to customers in a way that preserves or enhances natural and human resources.

Research has shown that over 50% of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact and over 60% of consumers want marketers to take a stand on environmental values they care about. Simply creating a product is no longer enough to win customers’ favour – they would much rather spend money on a company that shares their values. This has led to businesses adopting more sustainable products, processes, and practices and those that do consider it a competitive advantage and base their marketing campaign on the fact that they are more sustainable than the competition. Transparency regarding the environmental impact of business processes is also key, as it allows the public to see the improvements being made and sends a message of Integrity from the company. Their advertising providers such as Creative Agency Brisbane are encouraged to put their values front and centre of their marketing.

Sustainability is more than a marketing buzzword. Simply claiming to be sustainable will not win a company any favours and might land them in legal trouble. It might also be beneficial for them in the longer term to adopt increasingly sustainable activities because when the legislation around the world catches up, the competitors who do not adopt early will essentially be forced out of business. Product development is also increasingly innovative where customers needs are prioritised once more instead of packing a product with features and pushing it onto the customer, a more customer driven demand aspect can be seen, which reduces waste and unneeded raw material usage. Many companies are adopting long-term plans to cut down on their materials usage, waste released and energy consumption and have managed to garner public support through effective marketing campaigns which highlight their commitment to these plans.

Sustainable marketing is also a way to build brand loyalty. Customers are more likely to stay with companies that share their views and actively promote sustainable processes. Since customers are willing to pay extra for the peace of mind about where their money goes, appealing to the values of a customer might allow a business to stay afloat during times where their competitors have outperformed them on other metrics simply due to their commitment to sustainability.

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