Should you bet on Sustainability? Does it make business and financial sense to go for a green positioning? What can companies and brand expect for these sort of approaches?
I could actually write a book about these questions, but would rather keep it simple today. According to a research from Havas Media Group, Brands must be meaningful. In the sense that they need to embrace values that resonate with customers. If not, you risk becoming part of the mainstream (7 out of 10 brands according to this research) and become irrelevant to your target group… I.e. your customer would not care at all if your brand disappeared…
Bearing this is in mind, there are quite a few possible approaches here. You can create a Corporate Brand Identity around sustainability like the one of Unilever, or you could keep it simple and go step by step. And, if you opt for the latter, then the approach would be simple: Take one value that resonates with your customers and build upon it.
One of the possible values is everything related to playing it Green, to positioning yourself as an Environmentally Friendly Company, who cares about Nature and the Ecosystem. And one example of this would be what not a company but an Industry has actually done: The Green approach of the Hotel Chains.
You know what I am speaking about, but let me share one recent example I got so that we are all in the same page. I just went to Penn State University for a Symposium on Digital Learning. The event took place in an Event Centre where everybody was hosted. And of course, when in the room, you could find it with signs that were basically telling something like this:
- “If you want your towels to be replaced, please leave them on the floor….
- If you want your bed sheets not to be changed, please leave this sign on your bed…
- When deciding, please consider the amount of resources that are thrown away and the impact is has on Nature…
- We are fully committed Hotel with Sustainability and appreciate your support…”
Firstly, most customers decide to play it green.
Secondly, the Hotel Chain makes a good impact on the brand positioning, as long as customers end up perceiving the brand as committed with sustainability.
And lastly, the Hotel Chain actually saves a lot of money for not having to wash and replace thousands of towels and bed sheets…
Food for thought
Quite simple, isn´t it? But it works and delivers quite good results. So bear in mind two things from here:
- Brands needs to resonate with customer values, they need to resonate and engage.
- The latter does not necessarily imply ad multimillion investment. It could be as simple as taking one value and get your message across.
I look for your comments @ignaciogafo