Carbon footprint data has become an important and serious part of the buying psychology of consumers.
In fact, Tryzens research has shown that 83% of UK consumers and 84% of Australian and New Zealand consumers expect the brands they buy with to adopt sustainable practices.
Here are four key themes that brands can learn from to help create a more sustainable future.
1. Understand your impact
It might seem obvious, but taking the time to truly understand where your brand can create the most impact – and align your goals with those areas – is a crucial step on your journey.
You need to look at your end-to-end supply chain to understand where you can make improvements and develop a clear goal of what you want to achieve.
There are many sustainability frameworks and reporting tools you can use to help you make sense of this information and find solutions.
2. Communication is the key
Here are the most important things a brand can do:
- Act in full transparency
- Show that you are trying to be better
- Recognize your duty of vigilance towards the environment
If you are not authentic, your sustainability journey can easily be seen as just another marketing message by customers, and they will quickly become suspicious if seen that way.
Rather than bragging about your accomplishments, be transparent about your progress and don’t be afraid to admit that there is still some way to go. Take your clients on this journey with you.
“Your customers must have full visibility of your environmental impact”
By being clear in your communications at all levels, from messaging on your website to product labeling, your customers should have full visibility into your environmental impact.
Help them take it a step further by explaining how they can also be more environmentally friendly after purchase, for example through recycling or repair initiatives, or maintenance guides.
3. Inspire your teams
Many retailers are seeing internal change from employees who want to spearhead change in accordance with their values.
Just as you make your customers travel through clear and transparent information, it is just as important to rally your teams, especially at the store level.
Your direct-to-customer teams are your biggest advocates, and retailers are very successful in the conversations staff have with customers about products and brands.
These authentic interactions occurring on a deeper, more human level assure your customers that your sustainability initiatives are not just a marketing ploy and that there is a genuine desire for change.
4. Solicit customer feedback regularly
Open the conversation with your customers through regular feedback surveys to really get their thoughts on areas where you could improve your sustainable practices.
Allow them to hold you accountable if they notice an area where you could do better, from product to packaging and execution.
One clear aspect is that being a sustainable brand is no longer a niche but an expectation.
Ethical and sustainable behavior should no longer be an afterthought, but an essential part of product development and the design process.
The story of your product is now intrinsic to the purchase itself. Businesses that don’t embrace this shift and embrace a cultural shift will soon be left behind.
Liam Downes is Director of Strategy and Customer Success at Tryzens
Liam Downes is a digital leader with over 18 years of retail experience with some of the UK’s biggest brands including Shop Direct Group, L’Oreal, The Body Shop and Hush Homewear.
As the Director of Strategy and Customer Success at Tryzens, he provides strategic advice and on-demand services while ensuring clients have a top-notch experience.