Do it for them

Your corporate sustainability efforts ARE a reason for consumers to buy your products. We’ve borne it out repeatedly in our research, and we’ve just seen proof of it again in our soon-to-be-published Eco Pulse™ study.

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 USA and you can recycle. Made in the USA = a safer product in a consumer’s mind and recycling = green. Sixty-four 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 really well and that’s not really surprising – they’re Brownie Points programs that consumers doesn’t really 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 little effort (on the part of the consumer) was expended.

Following that logic, the makers of the Two Degrees bars photographed at right should do quite well. These were on offer at Sustainable Brands 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. Tagging on to Karen’s post below, we hear a LOT from major brands that they can’t make their sustainability claims bigger or more explanatory on their packages –there’s not enough room, there are too many things we have 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 it for them. And make it really visible on your packaging. Consumers will reward you for it.

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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