Gaining your customers’ trust is the hardest job on the planet, but no one said it’s impossible. Here’s what you need to do this Earth Day before you miss the opportunity train.
Green consumerism is all the rage now. Consumers prefer buying from brands that care about the environment and offer sustainable products and services. This isn’t a phase that will die out tomorrow, so you’ll fall behind the competition if you don't adapt. Consider it a new benchmark that your business must meet.
Not even the richest companies today like Apple can’t slack off when it comes to the environment. The public expects the bigger whales to shoulder more responsibility for saving the planet. Going eco-friendly is the quickest way to get into your audience’s good books.
Any business can say it’s environment-friendly, but what matters is if they can prove it with action. So, what can you do this year to become more environmentally-friendly and gain the trust of your customers? Earth Day is all you need!
Go environment-friendly… for real
The foundation of any relationship is trust, and trust comes with honesty. You can’t pretend you care about the environment when you don’t. Sure, you might be able to deceive people, but not for long because actions speak louder than words. Going eco-friendly isn’t easy for every company. For instance, if you’re a solar panel solutions provider, your entire business is based on reducing your carbon footprint through renewable energy. But if you’re an oil and gas company, going eco-friendly will hurt your business. So, what can you do in the latter case?
If your business contributes to the carbon footprint, the best way of going eco-friendly is to invest in environment-related projects like plant-a-tree drive. That way, you have something to show the people that you’re invested in the environment and are compensating for your carbon footprint. You may think it’s unreasonable to spend money on this, but it will surely pay off. Don’t believe us? 39% of boomers, 62% of Gen Z, and 54% of Gen X consumers would rather pay extra and buy from a sustainable brand. Let those statistics sink in for a bit.
Narrow down your focus
A McKinsey report says many S&P 500 companies simultaneously work on too many sustainable goals. It’s essential to have a single front – otherwise, your business won’t accomplish much. The report also mentioned that companies with a unified strategy performed three times better than those with a fragmented focus.
Suppose you are a beverage company. In that case, you could focus on water pollution, sustainable water consumption for manufacturing, or mitigating carbon emissions, but only one of these at a time – it just works. When Siemens introduced a variety of green products back in 2012, it generated revenues of over $32 billion and saved 377 million metric tons of emissions.
Define your targets
Once you have decided which front you will be working on, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details of your plan. The first thing you should do is set concrete goals and define your targets, and both should be measurable; otherwise, how can you possibly tell how you’re performing?
If you’re a small business owner and say that you’ll cut 100,000 metric tons of emissions this year, does that mean anything? You can’t measure that unless you hire experts and rent scientific instruments. However, you can start a company-wide plant-a-tree drive where you plant 100,000 trees in a year. That’s an example of an attainable and measurable goal.
The hard work starts once you have spotted the bullseye. Set deadlines and measure each department’s performance periodically. You’ll need KPIs (key performance indicators) relevant to your targets. For example, KPIs for a beverage may include waste reduction rate, waste recycling rate, water footprint, product recycling rate, among others.
Document your progress
While you’re making everyday progress towards your sustainability goals, it’s crucial to audit them and document them. You can hire a third-party auditor, but if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can appoint a CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) responsible for planning, implementing, and tracking your company’s sustainability goals.
Documenting your progress is vital for showcasing your achievements, and you’ll have the proof to back it up. You can post annual environmental reports on your website and remember to insert pictures, graphs, and data because your audience will look for evidence for your progress. For example, you could take photos of volunteers planting trees at your site and use the before and after pictures to signify your progress.
Documentation is essential because it makes your brand aligned with sustainability. You can further boost your branding for Earth day by leveraging digital signage and introducing multiple marketing campaigns.
Show them what you have achieved
Once you have done all of the above, it’s time to show everyone what you have achieved. To do that, you’ll need clever marketing ideas. The trick is not to bore the audience with numbers and statistics – you have already mentioned them in your annual environmental report. Instead, focus on highlighting what those numbers mean and sneak in your green products if you have any. But first, you’ll need to choose the right marketing platforms. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are your best bet.
Start with LinkedIn because it’s the most professional social platform out there. By putting up an eye-catching Earth Day poster on social media, you’ll gain the public’s trust and attract the right talent for your company! Up next, using Facebook and Instagram for marketing can be a gamechanger because of one simple reason – billions of people use them daily, and they’re just the right places to market your green products.
A final piece of advice
Social media is a powerful marketing tool you can use to reach out to hundreds of thousands of potential customers and solidify your branding this Earth Day. However, you can’t post walls of words on social media – save the prose for your website blog. Instead, put up creative Earth Day posters no matter which social media marketing pipeline you choose.
Creating posters isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You might need to hire a graphic designer, but why spend money when you can use an easy-to-use poster maker? Also, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you might need to do a little trial and error to see what works for you.