Sustainable marketing: key principles and leveraging it

What is sustainable marketing?

Sustainable marketing extends further than the health of our environment and future of the planet; it’s also concerned with the wider societal issues including social and economic hurdles. When done well, its goal is to promote an organisations commitment to a mission. The product or service is secondary.

Forbes reports that 90% of Gen X consumers would willingly pay an additional 10% for more sustainable products which is a 164% increase from a survey conducted just two years prior. The data suggests that sustainability is an increasingly influential part of the buyer decision process. For that reason it’s imperative businesses align themselves with the thinking of Gen X as the demographic is projected to represent 27% of the worlds income by 2030; possessing a greater share than millennials by 2031.



Long-term planning

The issues surrounding sustainability are often deep rooted, systematic and can only be tackled over a long and sustained period of time, your plans must therefore reflect this rather than seasonal promotions. Telecommunications provider 02 demonstrates this well through their latest campaign (O2 vs CO2) which commits to achieving a carbon net zero status by 2025. The announcement is timely considering COP26 and incorporates a witty play on words which will certainly promote their brand.


Holistic approach

Consumers are increasingly aware of green-washing and will examine your brand with a fine-tooth comb. Its therefore in your best interest to ensure that each facet of your organisation adheres to sustainable practises. McDonald’s came under scrutiny when the fast-food chain claimed to have replaced its plastic straws with “eco-friendly” paper straws. It appeared to be a sustainable change in operation however after scratching the surface it was revealed the thickness of the paper straws prevented them from being processed and were therefore discarded in general waste. Social media allows for the general public to instantly communicate with brands so where you fail to deliver your promises, rest assured the public will call you out. In some cases this can cause more damage than goof.

You deliver your plan responsibly

Consumers demand you walk the walk. They see past buzz words and demand actionable promises and a commitment to the delivery of said promises. Organisations should therefore focus on initiatives that reduce carbon emissions, integrate recyclable materials and evidence this. The Bodyshop partnered with TerraCycle to install product recycling bins in store locations worldwide, as part of their ongoing return, recyle, repeat campaign.


At Stone Create We’re committed to delivering sustainable marketing so if you’re in need of an actionable strategy, contact us today.

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