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Three Ways to Deepen Customer Loyalty with a Sustainability Focused Brand Purpose

Brandi Smith, Marketing Director

Think that the quality of your product alone is enough to win a consumer’s favor? This may have historically been the case, but times and perceptions are evolving. Don’t get me wrong, consumers still want quality products, but we’re in a new era where they’re looking for more than that. They’re now seeking brands that are aligned with their personal values. Those that are informed and aware of the impact their purchases have on the environment are looking to businesses to make progress on big issues facing the world.

TEDx speaker Shaun Frankson summed it up best in his talk on responsible consumerism when he stated that “Every purchase you make is a vote for how a product is made, and a vote for the company who made it. You have the power to reward what you want repeated through your purchases.” In his talk, Frankson highlights that consumers indicate they would buy a product or a service based on the company’s support for a social matter. New research from Accenture and Edelman supports this line of thinking:  

  • 64%, of consumers worldwide now purchase from — or boycott — a brand due to its stances on social or political issues.  
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers surveyed indicated that they prefer to purchase products and services from companies that stand for a purpose that reflects their own values and beliefs
  • Among those consumers, 62% want companies to take a stand on the social, cultural, environmental and political issues that they care about the most
  • Sixty-five percent of the same survey respondents base purchase decisions on the words, values and actions of company leaders
  • Consumers are also drawn to brands that are committed to using good quality ingredients (76%), that treat employees well (65%) and that are focused on reducing plastics and improving the environment (62%)

Seems obvious right? Why would anyone want to choose a brand if they don’t agree with their social and environmental viewpoints?  

Companies are starting to recognize this new paradigm and are beginning to reorganize around the concept of purpose with purpose-led strategies and solutions. The key however is to be authentic.Consumers can and will see through inauthenticity, which will do more harm than good for a brand’s reputation.  

Organizations truly committed to a purpose will have principles guiding every business decision that aligns to the purpose. In return, it will bind consumers, employees and shareholders. This is where actions will speak louder than words and deeper connections will be formed with customers, which improves overall competitiveness and loyalty. And there’s proof in the pudding. According to Kantar Consulting, brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years compared to the median growth rate of 86%. Being purpose-led and driven pays off big, but remember, it must be in a clear and authentic way.  

Sustainability is one of the largest concerns amongst consumers today, and interestingly, products with sustainability claims generally outperform the growth rate of total products in their respective categories. It’s no longer a distant cousin of business. Consumers are demanding it from their favourite brands. Even when sustainability isn't a personal priority, the psychology of using a purchase to do good is attractive to many consumers.

Not there yet?  Not to worry. There are ways to make a sustainability commitment in an authentic way and that will keep your customers loyal to your brand. No immediate and massive changes to your manufacturing or business process required. Here are our top three that not only save the planet, but save you money:

1. Leveraging energy efficient alternatives

Many brands today are implementing energy efficient alternatives, which are a giant piece of the sustainability puzzle. This includes HVAC optimization, LED lighting retrofits, and solar energy. Recent price shifts have made all of these technologies very economical to purchase, with many solutions providing positive cash flow while dramatically lowering a company’s carbon footprint. Take LED lighting as an example. It’s one of the most efficient forms of lighting. Making the switch offers an 80% energy savings over incandescent, halogen and compact fluorescent(CFL) alternatives. Plus, these bulbs have a longer operational life span too —25 times longer than halogen and incandescent bulbs, and up to three times longer than CFLs. Companies embracing these new energy technologies enjoy as much as a triple-bottom-line win in productivity, profits and planet.  

2. Using a regional shipping alternative

ShipperBee is changing regional parcel delivery throughout North America. We aren’t your typical shipping company. We’re cut hub-and-spoke distribution centers out of the equation and leverage a collaborative delivery driver network. By removing hub-and-spoke distribution and using people who are already on the road and in transit —think commuters, stay-at-home parents, retirees, and students — we are able to drastically reduce carbon emissions by a whopping 73% per parcel (not to mention the cost of shipping by up to 33% per parcel!) Check out our infographic: Eco-Friendly Shipping: ShipperBee vs. Hub-and-Spoke Carriers to learn how we’re reducing carbon emissions with our first-of-its-kind end-to-end delivery system.

3. Implementing ways to streamline your packaging 

When shipping with one of the courier giants, investing in stackable boxes to ensure they hold up in their trucks are a must. With ShipperBee, there is no bouncing from truck to truck across distribution centers, which means you don’t need to make that investment. Our drivers are moving small bundles of parcels safely on their journey in their unused vehicle space and transferring them across our Hive network. No heavy-duty boxes required, and you not only save on the cost of boxes, but the environmental impact associated with them. Plus, we always remind our customers to pack products with environmentally friendly packaging materials and in as small a package as possible. Don’t use a large box if a small box or a bubble mailer can just as easily get your product from A to B in one piece. Seems logical but I regularly receive shipments in a package that is not suitable or far too large for the items ordered. For more was to reduce your shipping costs, download our eBook: 6 Ways to Reduce Your Business’Shipping Costs.

In the face of climate change, as consumers start taking a deeper and more conscious look at the consequences of the products they purchase, it’s time to make change that will keep them loyal to your brand.  

Want more quick ideas to create a more sustainable business?  Download our eBook: 9 Ways to Reduce Your Business’ Carbon Footprint. There are quick and viable solutions you can implement quickly and cost effectively while working toward longer sustainability plans and strategies. 

 

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