Written by Hadie Perkas, Founder of The Gift Club and The Hub.
Following the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in late November 2021, climate conversations are back in the public consciousness. With global temperatures continuing to rise despite the best intentions of COP26 countries, consumers are searching for ways they can contribute to the fight against climate change.
As more individuals turn to retailers for their purchasing needs, companies have a prime opportunity to market themselves as eco-friendly and sustainable brands – and join the climate conversation effectively.
In this article, we will take a look at the impacts that climate-conscious marketing and messaging can have on your consumer loyalty, as well as practical ways to start implementing this type of communication.
Why Go Green
Isn’t climate-based marketing stepping into the taboo for businesses?
While there are still corners of the world that see climate change conversations as taboo for marketing, the reality is that the climate crisis is quickly becoming a top concern for many consumers.
What was once a political talking point is now directly impacting individuals across the globe. Flooding, droughts, wildfires, and more are becoming more common, costing lives and billions in damages.
Climate summits effectively bring global issues to the table, but average individuals are left wondering how they can take part in climate advocacy. Retailers have an opportunity to fill this gap by implementing climate-conscious marketing that makes it easy for consumers to take part in the fight against climate change.
How Can Retailers Move to Green Marketing Effectively?
There are a few ways that retailers can communicate their climate consciousness in a way that resonates with customers and encourages them to return.
However, today’s consumers are wise about false advertising. They quickly recognize when a company is trying to pull the wool over their eyes, leaving many ambivalent about green marketing claims that lack substance.
Recognizing this, here are some of our top tips for communicating your company’s climate stewardship in a way that resonates with customers:
1. Turn Your Company DNA Green
The first step in any successful green marketing campaign is to ensure that your company’s DNA is already environmentally friendly. This means looking at everything from producing and packaging your products to how you source your materials.
The same goes for your branding and marketing. Ask yourself, are all of your promotional materials environmentally friendly?
2. How Does Your Company Contribute to the Local Community?
Part of building a solid customer base is forming meaningful connections with consumers. An excellent way for retailers to do this is by participating in local events and initiatives and encouraging employees to volunteer within their communities.
When consumers feel like they have a personal connection to your company, they are more likely to trust your green marketing claims. They’ll also be more likely to return to your store in the future.
3. Move Loyalty Programmes To The Digital World
Today’s consumers are increasingly looking for opportunities to support companies that are working against climate change. While you may think loyalty programmes are more critical than ever, it is essential to make sure they go far beyond basic benefits like coupons and discounts on select items.
As digital tools become an integral part of everyday life, moving your loyalty programmes online makes sense. This way, customers can feel like they directly support your company’s climate advocacy simply by shopping with you.
4. Offer Loyalty Points for Green Purchases
One way to encourage customers to make more climate-conscious choices is by rewarding them with loyalty points for every purchase made. However, these points should only be awarded for purchases of sustainable or ethically sourced products.
This type of marketing sends a clear message to consumers that your company supports their efforts to shop consciously and live sustainably.
Once customers have the opportunity to earn back a few points through their purchase, they’ll be more likely to return and continue using your store as their go-to source for environmental products.
5. Use Clear Language That Speaks To Your Demographics
Retailers can encourage consumers to return by speaking directly to the demographic that makes up your customer base.
For example, if you’re trying to reach women who are passionate about climate advocacy, your messaging should clearly communicate how your company is making an impact.
This is one area where retailers need to be transparent and honest with their customers. Customers will quickly become disinterested in companies that make vague claims about the environmental benefits of their product without any evidence to back it up.
6. Make a Commitment to Sustainability
In order to show customers that you’re serious about climate change, it’s important to commit to sustainability. This means setting goals for your company to reduce its environmental impact and pledging to use more sustainable materials in the future.
Get your customers involved in this commitment by offering opportunities to engage. For example, offer discounts and gift cards when consumers walk to your store, recycle old products, or take other small steps to reduce their environmental impact.
Making a commitment to sustainability is a sign that your company is serious about climate change and ready to work with customers to make a difference. When shoppers feel like they’re part of the solution, they’re more likely to continue returning to your store.
Go Green with a Competitive Edge
As your business or brand begins to shift toward a focus on climate change, you’re likely to experience increased competition from other retailers who are making a similar move. This can be both good and bad news.
The good news is that as the market for sustainability-focused products grows, consumers will become more selective about the brands they support. This means that if your company can successfully communicate its commitment to climate change, customers are more likely to become loyal supporters.
The bad news is that with increased competition comes greater responsibility. Once you’ve established your company as an environmental leader, it’s essential to keep up with the latest information and find new ways to stay ahead of competitors.
If you’re slow to adjust your message or fail to meet customer expectations, you’re likely to lose business.
Launch Your Green Marketing With The Gift Club
In the end, it’s important to remember that committing to climate change isn’t easy. There are many challenges along the way, but with the right tools and strategies in place, your company can make a real difference.
If you are ready to shift your marketing and messaging to a climate-conscious model, one of the best steps is a loyalty programme that rewards your customers for their environmentally responsible behaviour.
Learn more about how to start a sustainable loyalty programme with The Gift Club. Our online resource and exclusive business directory represents a number of agencies and vendors who can help businesses of all sizes with the tools and knowledge they need to get started with a successful loyalty programme.
Email email@example.com and ask for Hadie.