Sustainability-focused practices that will help you stand out & generate impact.
Hey there 👋 - Abhi & The Crew here!
Happy Thursday to the 29,991 marketers reading today :)
I’m currently on a 23-hour journey to India, I just got a free upgrade, and just treated myself to a refreshing hot towel. Some might call it the holy trinity of productivity, and they wouldn’t be wrong - cause I am officially locked in. Here comes the heat.
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That new shampoo you were going to buy? Build with eco-friendly, non-toxic chemicals. That bracelet you were going to buy for your significant other? Made with 100% eco-friendly packaging. That cigarette you were going to smoke? It’s now carbon neu – okay, maybe not!
But you get the gist. Sustainable products and eco-friendly materials are now mainstream. And whether it’s genuine or a marketing play, this sustainability overkill will affect conversion rates everywhere.
Similar to the banner blindness effect, people will start to overlook the meaning of sustainable products and it may not have its usual impact on consumers. Especially if we all focus on the same things - the same buzzwords and the same little eco-friendly icons.
But that’s why you’re here, right? To stand out with the science? So let’s get into it…
3 Missed Opportunities To Stand Out With Sustainability
Fear and scarcity can be powerful tools, but in the context of sustainability-driven consumer purchase intent, research has found gain frames to be more persuasive than loss frames.
Gain frames emphasize what one will gain by completing an action
Loss frames emphasize what one is to lose by avoiding an action
In the context of sustainability-driven marketing, here are two examples based on Patagonia:
The Original - where they leverage the gain frame and promote green practices
A Counter-Example that highlights the potential repercussions of our ignorance
Which one do you like more?
Eco-labels (image below) have been proven to improve conversion rates in general, but its effectiveness can be mediated by the consumer’s fluency level:
As always, you need to study your consumer. In this case, you should know whether your ideal customer is highly aware of environmental concerns and well-educated (high-construal consumer) or relatively less aware of environmental concerns and not as well-educated (low-construal consumers).
And based on that, we can adapt the way you present your eco-label information:
For low-construal consumers, leverage functional eco-label information
Eg. from the study, “This product has been certified by ‘FSC Forest Stewardship Council’ certification. Made from 100% FSC-certified, well-managed forests. Meets the FSC certification criteria for environmental suitability and community benefit.”
For high-construal consumers, leverage emotional eco-label information
Eg. from study, “Want a better environment and a more sustainable society? Then choose products certified by the ‘FSC Forest Stewardship Council’! Keep forests alive forever and give future generations a better future!”
3/ Social Proof Over Sheer Statistics
Seeing these sustainability practices and icons poured over every site has made me:
Skeptical - especially when all these numbers come from the brand itself
Blind - when it’s always in the same spots and presented in the same way
My solution - immerse hints of sustainability in the testimonials themselves. Instead of asking all your users what they think about your product, ask some of them, “Why they bought this product over others?” and if the answer is ever “sustainability”, double down.
Ask them, “What about the experience they found most compelling?” or “What’s one practice they would like to see other brands do as well?”
Take those answers and sprinkle those across your landing pages. Test these testimonials against your self-proclaimed statistics on how your brand is sustainable. My gut says that the former will perform better, but a test is always necessary :)
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📈 The Reuters Institute published a report on the trends in content posting and consumption. With 100,000 responses from 52 countries and 160 pages of summary, it could answer many of your most burning social media questions.
🐦 Twitter might be looking into ways to stop “trendjacking” (or “newsjacking) via replies to trending tweets, according to Elon Musk. There’s a clarification that this applies to replies out of context, not relevant replies.
❗ Whoa, Yahoo is still here. And it’s launching Backstage—a platform that will offer direct path inventory from more than a hundred publishers, allowing you to bypass supply-side platforms to buy ads from them. Should roll out sometime in Q3.
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See you next Thursday,
Abhishek “Sustainable Revenue” Shah & The Crew