Corporate sustainability efforts make a difference to consumers

Corporate sustainability efforts make a difference to consumers

They show your company values – and consumers notice.

Your corporate sustainability efforts are a reason for consumers to buy your products.recycle_bin_blue

We’ve borne it out repeatedly in our research, and we’ve just seen proof of it again in our Eco Pulse™ studies.

The question is: What efforts most resonate with consumers?

In other words, what can you do at a corporate level that will give folks a reason to buy at the product level?

We’ve mentioned this before, but first and foremost, you can make your products in the U.S. and you can recycle.

Made in the U.S.A. = a safer product in a consumer’s mind and recycling = green.

64 percent of the American population claims they always recycle (we know that’s not true, but that’s their perception), and they hold companies to the same standards – as in, “I think I’m doing the right thing when I recycle; therefore, when companies recycle, they’re doing the right thing, too.”

From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, keeping your efforts local is a big win, and so is, essentially, doing most of the work for consumers.

Buy-one-give-one programs test well and that’s not really surprising – they’re Brownie Points programs that consumers don’t have to earn.

They just buy a product they were going to buy anyway and, poof, someone in need gets the same product. Everybody wins, and the consumer expended little effort.

Two Degrees barsFollowing that logic, the makers of Two Degrees bars should do quite well.

These were on offer at last year’s Sustainable Brands conference, and I was struck by their buy-one-give-one approach, as well as the amount of real estate the company gave to the claim on their packaging.

We hear frequently from major brands that they can’t make their sustainability claims bigger or more explanatory on their packages – they say there’s not enough room, there are too many other things to say, etc.

If these guys can devote nearly half of the packaging of a snack bar to it, I think anybody can do it.

So that’s the takeaway: Do your sustainability activities for your customers. And make it really visible on your packaging.

Consumers will reward you for it.


Posted on

April 30, 2013

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.


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