Vikram Kumar
Apr 17, 2024

Sustainable branding in the age of climate consciousness

There's nowhere to escape for brands when it comes to sustainability today, as the conscious consumer pushes organisations to do more and better. SRV Media's Vikram Kumar opines.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

In a world where everyone is shifting from conventional marketing methods to modern approaches, it is heartening to know that people want brands to become environmentally conscious and can no longer ignore this pressing factor.

A recent Unilever report has shown that 33% of customers are willing to pay more for products that align with their values and prioritise eco-friendly practices with both environmental and social impacts. We are now in a climate-conscious era, where customers consistently seek brands that not only stay relevant to this trend, but also contribute positively to global efforts to protect our planet.

Eco-friendly marketing, also known as Green Marketing, involves developing products or designing services that are environmentally superior to others. It not only attracts a large consumer base but also expands brand image, enhances brand value, and improves brand operations.

Importance of eco-friendly marketing

More than just a trend, eco-friendly marketing has become a necessity for companies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace in the long run. Companies are now more focused on their customers’ preferences than merely on organisational growth. After the Covid-19 pandemic, they have become more aware of this. They develop products or provide eco-friendly services, but some brands are left behind due to changing dynamics. They need to understand the true potential of leveraging eco-friendly marketing practices. By embracing eco-friendly marketing, brands can:

  • Build trust and credibility: Consumers are vital for brands. Whatever brands do, they do for them. If customers repeatedly purchase the same item from a brand, it indicates they trust the brand more than others, even if competitors offer lower prices. Developing a product or designing a service that meets customer preferences is a great achievement for any brand. In this context, brands engaged in sustainable marketing can build brand loyalty with environmentally and socially conscious consumers.

  • Differentiate from competitors: The marketplace is overcrowded. Although leading companies have been proactively investing in their growth factors, they often overlook the critical importance of green marketing, which can hinder their future growth. On the other hand, companies that leverage eco-friendly approaches in marketing can appeal to a growing segment of customers who believe in sustainability.

Key strategies for effective eco-friendly marketing

To successfully implement eco-friendly marketing and witness steady growth, businesses must effectively consider the following strategies in their operations:

  • Understand current environmental impact: Before moving towards eco-friendly marketing, brands must identify the areas of their current environmental impact. This will help brands identify areas for improvement and implement suitable initiatives in the right direction.

  • Employee engagement and training: Operating an environmentally conscious company always requires a group of employees who support sustainability initiatives. Companies must hire candidates and educate them about the importance of sustainability in marketing through sustainability programs.

  • Show your sustainability initiatives to the world: Brands must engage in creating content where they can showcase their sustainability approaches to their audience. For example, Patagonia has created engaging content videos to showcase their Worn Wear initiative, which supports local communities.

  • Extend support to eco-friendly ventures: Strength comes when there is a culture of collaboration and support. To achieve this, companies must build strong relationships and support other brands focusing on eco-friendly products and services. This will not only help brands become green brands but also resonate with the target audience and highlight their value.

  • Utilise innovative apps to reduce carbon footprint: Reducing a brand's carbon footprint is one of the most effective eco-friendly marketing strategies. Brands can achieve this through various innovative applications. For example, Zero Carbon helps brands by informing them about the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their daily activities and offering advice on how to reduce them. Another example is Greenstory, which helps brands turn their eco-friendly marketing approaches into compelling brand stories and prepares them for “decarbonization” and sustainability legislation changing the economy.

Real-world eco-friendly marketing examples

True green businesses have significantly contributed to sustainable marketing. One of the best examples is Starbucks, which has dedicated itself to eco-friendly marketing from its initial stages. They use recyclable cups to reduce the amount of garbage they produce. Another example is Timberland, an apparel brand that has been collaborating with other eco-friendly brands to gain insights and create eco-friendly marketing strategies.

Eco-friendly marketing is a powerful way for brands to reach conscious consumers and drive positive change. It also helps them future-proof their business. By aligning their marketing strategies with genuine sustainability initiatives, businesses can meet the needs of consumers and contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Vikram Kumar is founder and managing director at SRV Media.
Campaign India

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