Brands & Sustainability

Brands & Sustainability

Patagonia, TOMS, Allbirds….what do all of these brands have in common?

They are all popular brands that have set a trend by building their companies’ foundations around the philosophy of sustainability. 

In today’s society, most consumers are drawn to brands or products that do more than just their designated purpose. But why is this? Because people want to purchase products from brands that speak to their values, especially the Millenial and Gen Z generations. These sustainable efforts include environmental, social, and economic values. 

Let’s look at some statistics for a moment. According to IPG’s Media Lab, 79% of consumers are changing their purchasing preferences based on some sort of sustainability efforts like social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact. Purchasing sustainable products makes consumers feel like they are making a difference and it establishes an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. Additionally, about 55% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from brands that are committed to sustainability or some sort of positive social change. 

What is Sustainability? 

But what is sustainability? Sustainability can be defined in many different ways, but to me, sustainability is defined as a way of finding a solution to a prolonged problem while keeping certain elements like the environment in mind. Also, when it comes to sustainability, it brings up this important question: how do we, as the current population, live today so future generations can thrive? Let’s take a look at some more information below. 

Sustainability is made up of the three E’s: environment, economy, and equity. The first E, environment, concentrates on the impacts of climate control, deforestation, water pollution, etc. The second E, economy, focuses on the long-term profits for a brand, not just the short-term profits, but in a way that can impact their organization along with the planet. Lastly, the third E, equity, fixates on making sure that all of the resources or necessities are spread equally across the population. UCLA’s Sustainability Committee states that sustainability is not just about understanding that we need to manage the three E’s or core components, but how all of these important elements are connected. When brands truly take into consideration all three E’s with equal value, they tend to be more successful overall with both consumers and profits. If a brand is focusing solely on one of these core components, it can actually hurt the organization in the long run. 

Why is Sustainability Important for Brands?

Sustainability is important to brands for a variety of reasons. First, it brings more value to the brand. Interbrand recently published an article on the importance of sustainability and brand value. The authors discuss that when it comes to brands who make sustainability the foundation of their business, these companies are getting ahead of the market. Brands should focus on creating products and services that should be relevant to consumers but also help them live in a more sustainable manner. 

Second, sustainable brands establish a more emotional connection with their consumers. Consumers feel as though they are making a difference in the world and this leads to the development of a loyal relationship. Additionally, these types of brands do not need to focus on emphasizing the functional features of their products or services. Using the power of emotion, or the rhetoric term of pathos, can be very effective as these types of advertisements become memorable and shareable; they also build customer loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. 

Third, a sustainable brand fixes a problem that has multiple solutions. It fixes the consumer’s problem but also contributes to helping solve a bigger problem like climate change. Consumers are drawn to sustainable brands because they care about the future of the population and the Earth. 

These are just a few of the reasons why sustainable brands are so successful and important. 

Tips for Promoting Your Sustainable Brands

This sustainability train is not going away anytime soon! With this being said, it is important for new sustainable brands to understand the proper way to promote themselves. 

While launching a sustainable brand, it is important to keep the below tips in mind. 

1. Be Transparent 

With any brand, especially sustainable brands, they need to be VERY transparent with the information that is released about the product or service. By being transparent, it shows consumers that your brand is trustworthy.

2. Focus on Innovation 

Sustainable brands should focus on innovation. Innovation is important as again, it solves a problem for consumers, but also helps the brand by making a profit, and assists the world in solving a larger problem as a whole. There are always going to be new problems that arise once one is solved, so being innovative is part of the key to success. 

3. Value Over Profit 

While profit is important, sustainable brands tend to focus on the value of their organization and how their brand can help build loyalty with their consumers, while also assisting in solving a worldwide problem. 

When it comes to our clients and sustainable brands, Speak represents a wide variety of zoos and aquariums like the Omaha Zoo and the Maritime Aquarium. These brands care a lot about sustainability and the importance of educating people on how to protect wildlife so future generations can enjoy the same beautiful Earth like we have today. 


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Want to make your brand stand out from your competitors? We can help. Whether your brand needs help designing your website, creating social media content, or rebranding your company’s marketing materials, Speak has got you covered. 

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Posted by Amanda Gottschalk at 07:36