Sustainability can mean many things to many people and many brands tie their message of sustainability into their brand strategy. But what exactly does this mean and how do companies achieve this, and more importantly does communicating sustainability lead to greater profits? Let’s unpack the concept of sustainability and try to understand how it ties into retail packaging, custom boxes, your brand strategy and profitability.
The concept of sustainability has changed over time. There have been many proposed definitions and there have been many organizations that have proposed definitions that fit into their organizational goals and objectives. But essentially sustainability can be thought of, at least in the business sense, as any action taken by a business or organization that does not impact the the environment in a negative way and does not deplete natural resources for future use. Many consumers probably understand this concept intuitively though. They know that sustainability has something to do with the environment and they know it’s a good thing. And understanding what sustainability is and how the consumer understands this concept is key to devising a strategy that communicates your organization’s sustainable packaging efforts. The key point to understand though is that employing sustainable packaging techniques is good but devising a plan that communicates your efforts to consumers is even better. Below we discuss three way to communicate your company’s environmental practices.
Social media can be a great tool to get your message across. But many companies use social media purely to advertise their products and services. Once approach is to print your twitter handle or instagram name directly on your retail packaging or custom box and use these platforms to promote your sustainability efforts. Posting regular updates regarding your environmental successes will help to enhance your brand.
Adding environmental logos to your custom boxes or packaging is another great way to enhance your brand. For example the FSC logo demonstrates the responsible use of the planet’s forest resources. Another example of a certification logo is the CFPA logo which is the Chlorine Free Products Association. Using these logos really helps to drive trust in an organization’s sustainability practices as these certifications are through third party bodies.
Using social media, as explained above, is one way to help get your message across. But posting to social media is not enough. Engaging with consumers, sparking conversation and asking for feedback takes your strategy to the next level. However, this can become overwhelming when done on a large scale. Using social media management platforms like Hootsuite can help you schedule and organize your social media efforts as well as measure them.
Environmental issues and the demand for sustainable practice from consumers isn’t going away any time soon. In fact demonstrating your efforts to consumers can impact your bottom line. Consumer trends only show an increase in demand for sustainable products.