Sustainability is no longer an optional approach but has become an essential factor in sustainable marketing that consumers are increasingly considering in their choices. In the world of sustainability marketing, this offers a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself as a sustainable business. We will discuss why sustainability can serve as a Unique Selling Point (USP) and how you can incorporate this into your marketing strategy. Authenticity is the key factor here.
Sustainability as a USP for your Business
Sustainability is more than just a buzzword; it’s a long-term investment in the future of your business and the planet. Consumers are not only willing to pay more for sustainable products, but 37% of consumers consciously opt for stores that prioritise sustainability. This makes sustainability a potent Unique Selling Point (USP). Companies like Unilever have already recognised this; their sustainable brands are growing 46% faster than the rest of their portfolio. Furthermore, research shows that 81% of global consumers believe that companies should play a role in improving the environment.
Leveraging ESG in Marketing
Integrating sustainability into your marketing strategy can be an effective way to distinguish your business, particularly in the SME sector. Take, for example, the Dutch company Tony’s Chocolonely, which uses fair trade as a USP in their sustainable communication. They have incorporated this not only into their products but also into their marketing campaigns, from social media to packaging.
A bakery, for example, could sell bread made from locally grown, organic grains and mention this in their marketing materials. If you’re in the service sector, you could consider offering digital invoices to save paper, or using electric company cars in your fleet and incorporating this into your marketing.
Focus on authenticity and avoid greenwashing
If you want to communicate about sustainability and ESG, authenticity is crucial. Customers and consumers can easily see through false claims, which can lead to greenwashing. A story that does not align with your company’s values will have the opposite effect and come across as insincere. A company that applies authenticity and transparency in their sustainability communication is Patagonia. The outdoor brand genuinely invests in sustainability. For instance, they repair clothing and encourage customers to recycle their products. This authenticity has earned them a loyal customer base willing to pay more for their products.
By focusing on authenticity and transparency, you avoid greenwashing. When a company engages in greenwashing, it makes false or misleading claims about the sustainability of its products or services. A well-known example is Volkswagen with the ‘Dieselgate‘ scandal, where they claimed their cars were eco-friendly while, in reality, they manipulated emission tests. The risk of greenwashing is enormous; it can lead to negative publicity, fines, and a loss of customer trust. Authenticity, on the other hand, can strengthen your brand and lead to a loyal customer base that associates your business with positive values.
Communicating sustainability to your customers
- Be Transparent About Your Efforts and Results: Transparency is key to gaining (customer) trust. For example, share your procurement policy, the origin of your materials, and the impact you’ve made with your business. This can be done through an annual sustainability report or monthly newsletters.
- Use Social Media to Tell Your Story: Social media are a powerful platform to spread your message. Dedicate some posts, for example, to how you’re combating waste or how you’re supporting your customers in sustainable entrepreneurship. Photos and videos of your sustainable practices can serve as examples.
- Make the Impact of Your Customers Visible: This can be a unique way to engage customers in your sustainability efforts. For instance, show how much CO2 emission is saved by using your product or service. This not only increases engagement but also encourages sustainable behaviour.
Communicate Your Own Sustainability with Eevery
Eevery offers a sustainability platform that allows you to communicate sustainably. We provide a comprehensive solution for measuring and improving your sustainability efforts. But it doesn’t stop there. Our platform allows you to easily share these efforts with your stakeholders. Whether it’s a detailed sustainability report or a quick update via social media, our export options ensure that you can tell your story in an effective and credible manner. For example, download our Sustainability Report and use it in a funding process or tender. Incorporate our SDG and ESG widgets on social media or in your email signature.
Help Your Customers Become More Sustainable with Eevery
Eevery also offers assistance in making your customer base more sustainable. Make sustainable communication part of your service offering with the help of our sustainability platform. With our solution, you can assist your customers in their own sustainability efforts. In this way, develop a communication strategy where sustainability is an integral component. Sustainability then becomes a joint effort, reinforced by clear and authentic communication.
Sustainability is no longer a choice, but a crucial factor that consumers take seriously when making their decisions. It serves as a Unique Selling Point (USP) that can distinguish your business in a conscious market. It’s not a marketing gimmick; it’s an authentic way to add value to your brand and make a positive impact on the world. However, the key to success lies in the authenticity of your message and the transparency of your actions.
With Eevery, you can not only measure and improve these sustainability efforts but also effectively communicate them to your stakeholders and customers. Whether you need a detailed sustainability report for a financing trajectory, or you want to assist your customers in their own sustainability process, Eevery provides the tools and the platform to make this possible.