Sustainability is no longer an eco-friendly buzzword; it’s the key to a better future and many businesses are now realising this is not only a want for customers, but it’s a decision-making need.
The initial steps to embedding sustainability into a marketing plan may seem tricky but it’s easier than you may think as small actions can make a huge difference. A great step to starting this eco-friendly journey is to invest in sustainable merchandise.
Why Promotional Merchandise?
Creating an impact with customers is a fundamental factor of marketing; there are many different ways to do this but a tried and tested form of making a lasting impact is using promotional merchandise. The happiness a client or employee will feel when receiving a giveaway/gift will later lead to them returning to your business as they have an emotional connection with the gift giver i.e., your brand.
Traditionally associated with items like pens, tote bags and notebooks, the promotional merchandise industry has diversified to make many of these favoured branded products sustainable. Now many of these popular products are made with sustainable materials that are recycled, recyclable and biodegradable meaning they are making a positive difference. Also, many of these products have stories behind them that will engage and resonate with consumers making them become invested in the product and your brand.
Although consumers have high expectations when it comes to sustainability.
Transparency is key. With many greenwashing claims from consumer-endorsed brands, customers are tired of hearing false statements that have no positive impact.
Products with evidence of their claims and a true impact are favoured. A great example of a product making a true difference is the Ocean Bottle.
Like its name, the Ocean Bottle really helps protect the ocean. Focusing on clearing plastic from waterways and rivers that carry waste to the sea, this popular drinkware product funds 111.4kg of plastic collection with each purchase. Made from recycled stainless steel and part recycled plastic, this bottle is truly sustainable.
Consumers love a good story! The emotive elements draw them in, and then they relate to the story with their own values and beliefs. A brand that has an impactful social story is Harry Specter.
Sustainability doesn’t just have to be about protecting the planet, it is also about protecting and supporting the humans who live on it. This could be social inclusion, fair labour practices, community engagement and health and safety. The UK-based chocolate factory, Harry Specters supports social inclusion by offering confidence and hope to young people with autism by providing employment and free training.
This is a perfect example of a brand story that consumers can engage with as multiple meaningful and relatable engagement factors exist.
A True Impact
Many greenwashing claims state to be making a change but where is this true impact? Consumers want to see it happening in the here and now and if this cannot be proved, they will lose interest and find another brand that is making real claims.
A brand with a true mission is S’wheat. The Scottish bottle manufacturer’s core mission is to protect oceans from plastic pollution. Similarly, to the Ocean Bottle, with every bottle sold a positive impression on the planet is created. With each purchase, 20 lbs of plastics are removed from the ocean, a tree is planted and a percentage of profits are donated to The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
See making a positive impact on the planet doesn’t have to be hard! Big or small, every action helps.
Make sure to drop by the next marketingSHOWCASE in your area and pay a visit to Chris and Team Allwag to find out more!