Why Brands Must Radically Rethink Sustainability

A much stronger focus on sustainable is needed to help protect the environment and increase care for animals. But it’s also necessary because of a radical change in consumer expectations. Specially younger generations, who are dramatically more concerned about our planet.

Years ago, I’d never imagine that brands like Zara and H&M would design more ecological collections or discuss about recycling. I would definitely never imagine McDonalds launching a vegetarian burger neither. But the world is changing, and it’s changing fast.

The baby boomers (people born between 1946 to 1964) started an important movement, where customer satisfaction was the most important thing for a business to succeed. For the first time companies were listening carefully to their audience. Nowadays, for example, you don’t need to be a marketing genius to know that a business with poor customer service or product quality will not be the next Google or Apple.

Equally important, generation X and Z are starting another decisive movement, where brands MUST care about sustainability.

Yesterday I was reading an article (which inspired me to write this one) about how elite university students, in France, are no longer accepting to work for top -non-sustainable- companies, “only” because of climate change. Even though these top universities are known for their ambitious students, rather than activism. In the US, the trend seems to be deeply rooted too: 88% of business school students think environmental and social issues are priorities in business, and 67% want to incorporate environmental sustainability into their future jobs.

More than 90% of CEOs, state that sustainability is important to their company’s success.

That’s how far we already got.

What being “sustainable” means?

“A sustainable brand is one that has successfully integrated environmental, economic and social issues into its business operations. However, many companies that consider themselves to be sustainable only meet one-third of this definition.” — Forbes

It has to come from the heart. I know, profit is important and no one is saying you should not have it. But it should be more than that, we must really care about sustainability and actually do the best we can. Your consumers will notice, and also the planet.

I’m always here talking about how brands are much more than a logo and name, and it’s about purpose. That’s exactly why. When you are selling a product or service, that’s it, but when you are working for a cause you create real relationships and a structured business. People are not only consumers but friends and part of your mission.

How to start? What should I do?

We must understand that sustainability goes beyond green, it involves three major aspects: environmental, economic and social. A great start point it’s internal communication and practices. Second it’s caring about how your products are made or what services do you use. What’s the impact of your work? What materials do you use? Who are you working with?

After these very important questions, we should also talk about communication. What can you do to support your business strategies?

  • Greener website: did you know that if internet were a country, it would be the world’s 6th largest polluter? I talk more about that here.
  • Share knowledge: create more impactful content (this can boost your business) and will also create value to your company and your audience. They’ll respect and learn from you.
  • Packaging Strategies: I’m often wondering why business that are someway related to sustainability (like vegan restaurants) package their product with so much plastic or non recyclable materials. For consumers who cares, this can be a total deal-break.
  • Print: there are many options of paper, ink, and materials and they all cause different impacts. You can reduce your carbon footprint by easily picking a different kind of paper for your business card.
  • Logistics: You might not know, but many consumers do not buy your products just because they are shipped from far away, and all this transportation increases the carbon footprint. Work instead with the local community and save some money with transportation. Allow remote work whenever is possible. And please, don’t make multiple shipment for the same address (it happened to me once, I bought two products from the same store to be delivered in the same address and they shipped in different days).

“It’s clear that consumers prefer sustainable brands. But without proper messaging to reach your consumers and show them what your brand is doing, they will end up buying from your competitors. Pay special attention to what you send out in press releases and on social media, as well as the general brand perception of your company, to ensure that you are showing consumers what you stand for.” — Forbes

If you need any help to create sustainable contents, communication and designs just send me a message, I’ll be glad to help: hello@louisetamiazzo.com

To know more about me and my work access: https://louisetamiazzo.com

Creative Designer, Brand Strategist, Digital Gypsy, Backpacker, Dancer Wannabe, Playful Writer and Secret Agent. Nice to meet you! http://louisetamiazzo.com