When it comes to businesses, it is important to establish a brand that cares, especially about its core foundation and base.
Sustainable branding may bring multiple benefits and opportunities if done properly.
Integrating sustainability into the brand, especially in the role of a new concept, can be very challenging. It often requires adequate trainings and tools to transition towards a sustainable brand. Before stepping into the alignment of sustainable practices with the brand’s strategy and culture, it is important to have a reason for that.
Why should brands care about sustainability after all?
Despite the moral aspect of it, it is common to know that at the root of every problem lies an opportunity. That is what companies tend to lose out of sight when they face the sustainability awareness issue. However, there appears an opportunity to step in and raise brand image and awareness. In return, companies will benefit from loyal consumers, and a better image in the media, which in result may bring higher revenue. Nonetheless, the journey may not seem as simple as it appears to be.
The problem might be how to integrate the new concept so it aligns with the company’s strategy. Challenges may appear at each level of the organization. Managers may not be able to give any guidance or fail to adopt new values to corporate culture. Consequently, employees may remain unconvinced, especially if the core foundational culture does not necessarily stand as a support base. In result, sustainable branding becomes a problem that needs to be tackled instead of an opportunity that might be taken.
7 ways on how to “care the right way” – the importance of sustainable branding
1. Know your purpose
Knowing the brand’s purpose can put you on your feet within your general business strategy. Additionally, it can help you identify where sustainability can help you with your own aims and initiatives. Make sure your employees understand what your company’s purpose is and how to achieve it. In other words, your employees across different departments should know how to align the strategy to meet the goals.
Different purposes carry different strategies and approaches. Therefore, to integrate sustainability, it is important to recognize the spot for it, in the first place. Employees need to be involved in an active process of cognitive development of these strategies and approaches. Only this way they can understand and effectively engage in the process of creating a sustainable brand.
2. Find your allies
Teamwork makes the dreams work. If you are not sure whether you are implementing sustainability the right way – ask! There is no harm in not knowing, but there is the harm in not pursuing to educate yourself further. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with those who share the same mission of sustainable integration. 2030 Builders offers a Sustainability Engagement Platform tailored for the company depending on its needs.
3. Think citizens, not consumers
Companies often get lost in the mindset of always trying to find ways to please their consumers or clients. Instead, they should focus on thinking about what is best for them as citizens, human beings. This approach is important because once we start to treat consumers like citizens, we see the bigger picture. In consequence, we take upon the responsibility of ensuring that our brand does way more than striving for organic reach. Hence, we begin to understand that it is in our hands as well to ensure the well-being of all, including our planet. And companies need to bear in mind that more and more people are supporting sustainable brands. Millennials are becoming more loyal to brands that included SDGs in their strategy.
4. Lead with the cool
Besides sustainability being positioned as a trend in the media, there is certainly a reason for it to be that way. When the global reach takes place, the consequential output of it is massive. Many popular “Architects of The Cool” that promote and actively initiate sustainable practices include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and even Lebron James. But not only celebrities promote sustainable living. Even the biggest furniture business, Ikea, has been making efforts to become a climate-positive business by 2030.
5. Less advertising, more problem solving
That is also a key point to remember. Most companies make the mistake of focusing on advertising and attracting their target customer or group. But besides that, they should use their influence for good deeds.
“Billions of dollars can be wasted on pointless advertising and it is increasingly harder for companies to be spotted because of the fierce competition and therefore the massive amount of ads consumers are bombarded with every day”. – says Jonas Bruun Jacobsen, the co-founder of HoodHeroes
6. People are the new media
Instead of focusing on how your brand reputation is displayed in the media, think more about how it is displayed to people. After all, it is not the medium itself that spreads awareness, it is people that use that medium. But for them to do that – you need to provide something that would be worth their attention. If your company’s objectives match their personal values, they will be more likely to spread awareness.
7. Back-up the promise with proof
Customers’ trust is undeniably important. It is crucial for both establishing your brand awareness and creating lead generation. One of the ways to earn your customer’s trust is to keep promises. Transparency between you and your customers is a requirement for evaluating and improving sustainable practices. Transparency builds on the premise that the open atmosphere in both the business and the society can improve performance.
Why should businesses care to “care” after all?
Many business owners do not realize the level of influence they are gifted with when entering the market. Nowadays, revenue generation can be obtained from many different method applications. However, owning a certain platform, aimed to loudly represent its existence is also a big responsibility. Establishing a platform means you want to impact the world with your innovative ideas, or at least contribute to its change. So why not contribute towards it much more, while developing your business?
The future of sustainable business lies in the first base of its integration: a strategical approach. It is the resilient business strategies that take sustainability as their foundation, responding to the rapidly changing external context as interconnected business issues.