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Market Your Sustainable Brand Without Greenwashing

how to market a sustainable retail brand without greenwashing

The world of marketing has become increasingly challenging and consumers are more attuned to what they want and what they definitely do not. In recent years it has become increasingly clear that consumers want to see businesses taking positive steps towards sustainability to help protect our fragile planet.

However, this has caused many companies to greenwash their consumers in an attempt to drive more business and make more profit. So, if you’re genuinely a sustainable brand how are you supposed to market your business and have consumers actually believe a word you say?

In this article, we will be sharing how you can market your sustainable brand without greenwashing so you can gain customer trust and grow your company.

What is Greenwashing? 

In order to keep customers, many businesses have started greenwashing their audiences with false promises and false claims. Greenwashing is when a company markets their services or products as environmentally friendly when they are not. It lures consumers into a false sense of security and has caused a lack of trust between brands and consumers in recent years.

In fact, according to a 2022 survey by Deloitte, “nearly one in two consumers either do not know what to trust, or simply state that no businesses claims on climate change issues can influence how much they trust a businesses commitments to sustainability.” This is a sad outcome as it makes it even more challenging for companies operating sustainably to market their products and services in a way that have a positive impact on the consumer.

How to Market Your Sustainable Brand

If you are a sustainable brand, you might be wondering how on earth you can market your products and services to untrusting consumers. However, there are strategies you can use that will help your sustainable brand stand out from the crowd and prove to your customers that your business does genuinely care about the environment and operating sustainably.

Know Your Company Inside and Out

Unfortunately, it can be easy to greenwash your customers without realising. Some business owners market their products and services as ‘green’ when further down the supply chain, there are issues with the sourcing and transportation of products, for example. It’s called ‘accidental greenwashing’ and occurs most often when you don’t know your business inside and out.

Even accidental greenwashing can negatively impact business. In fact, according to Kau Media Group, “51% of people will unfollow a brand that posts something that they disagree with.” So, if you are going to market your brand as sustainable, you need to know your company inside and out so you can be 100% sure what you’re claiming is true. Even the smallest mistake or miscommunication can shatter the consumer trust you’ve spent years building.

Be Able to Prove Your Sustainability Claims

In today’s world of misinformation and greenwashing, your customers aren’t going to believe you just because you said something. And they shouldn’t have to merely take your word for it, either. Therefore, it’s important you can backup all your sustainability claims.

A great way to do this is to collect sustainability credentials. An increasing number of businesses are turning to sustainability certification bodies such as The Ethical Company Organisation, B Corp, and Planet Mark to receive guidance and mitigate their environmental impact. 

Whether your goal is to be a completely carbon neutral company or you want to plant more trees, collecting sustainability certifications is a great way to prove your sustainability claims and advertise your credentials to your customers. It helps develop that all–important consumer trust and also ensures your business stays on track towards its sustainability goals. 

Listen to Your Consumers

When you run a business, providing services and products to others, you serve a whole community of people. So, why not connect with them? Reaching out to your consumers for feedback is a great way to market your sustainable brand without greenwashing your audience.

Of course, it can be hard to receive negative feedback or constructive criticism. However, asking for customer feedback is a great way to learn and better understand what your customers are looking for. With this knowledge, you can make improvements to your business that better serve your customers and help set you up for continued success.

Communicate in the Right Way

Your customers don’t want marketing campaigns that use flowery language or words like ‘green’ and ‘eco friendly’. These things have been completely overused by companies and often, when there is no clear definition to follow, have very little meaning. Your marketing efforts must connect with your customers.

That’s why it’s important to communicate in the right way. Keep your language simple, not because your customers won’t understand but because not everything needs to be over explained. Consumers want information presented in a way that’s easy to understand. This helps your customers make an informed decision about whether to support your business or not. So, the simpler the better!

Final Words on Sustainable Marketing and Greenwashing

We know that navigating the world of sustainable marketing can feel daunting. However, the best way to maintain the trust of your customers and keep your business moving forward is to be honest and transparent. 

We hope the tips above will help with your marketing efforts so that you can enhance your communication methods, develop better relationships with your customers, and grow your brand’s reputation within a competitive market.

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