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Green is the new black

May 10, 2022 | Content

The UN’s COP 26 summit saw two weeks of world leaders, regional mayors and local council representatives deliberating, debating, and deciding on the policies that will shape our environment for generations. While the long-term impact of these net-zero targets, reforestation ambitions and climate aid initiatives are unbeknown, progress has certainly been made on a greener future, particularly in shifting momentum towards grassroots movements.

But away from the glitz of Glasgow and driven by changing consumer trends, brands too have been acclimatizing to new sustainable practices and they are making these known to consumers. In fact, 30% of Fortune 500 companies have set themselves up to achieve a climate goal by 2030, up from just 6% in 2016. 

Whether its big impact projects like P and G’s pledge for 70% of its sites to send no waste to landfills or even smaller-scale initiatives like IKEA providing all its employees with bikes to cut down on their carbon footprint, it’s likely that your favourite brand has in some way, embraced greener practices.

Influencer Marketing

The cost of ‘Going Green’

However, ‘Going Green’ is not without its challenges. Brands can face numerous challenges such as:

1. Higher manufacturing costs due to committing to pay workers a living wage as well as less focus on goods produced on mass

2. A larger bill for sustainable practices like renewable energy. Although this is cheaper in the long run, it can be costly short term.

3. High costs for green licences like organic certification which are necessary to prove green credentials.

Seeing no other option as to pass these costs onto consumers, green products have an average of 75-85% premium rising as high as 200% for fashion and beauty products:

But how does this affect purchase intentions?

While 52% of consumers in the UK describe themselves as ‘green’ only 33% of us actively buy sustainable products. This gap between intentions and actions is known as the green gap and the underlying cause is premium placed on green products:

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Ok… So how much are consumers willing to pay..

Most consumers are willing to pay about 10% more, only 15% of consumers are willing to pay 30%:

  • % of consumers who are willing to pay up to a 10% mark up 70% 70%
  • % of consumers who are willing to pay up to a 30% mark up 15% 15%
  • % of consumers who are willing to pay more than a 30% mark up 15% 15%
Well.. this is a start.. but how do we push consumers further towards their intentions…

Higher prices must come with a purpose. Research shows that consumers will pay more when they know the details of the products being offered. Therefore, brands must start to articulate, in creative ways, the benefits of their green products such as superior product performance, organic ingredients, recycled packaging or social responsibility.

Enter Green Marketing

Green Marketing, also known as environmental marketing or eco-marketing, is the highlighting of environmental or green issues within campaigns when showcasing products to consumers. For instance, brands may curate content that advertises the reduced emissions associated with its new manufacturing processes or its commitment to recycled materials in packaging.

In doing so, it can articulate the unique benefits of its green products to consumers which can serve as justification for higher prices. However, while information is power, advertising campaigns must also seek to win consumers hearts and not just their minds. Therefore, green marketing must also be human, striking a chord with emotions and a higher purpose. Striking this balance can be challenging but is necessary to convince consumers to pay the higher premiums.

60% of consumers want to know what brands are doing to limit their carbon footprint, emissions, water usage and damage to the earth (Forbes)

52% of shoppers are attracted to brands that stand for something bigger than the products they sell (Forbes)

Green Marketing

Go green and be seen

Here are a few examples of green marketing campaigns that caught our eye:

Dunkin’ Donuts x Airbnb: ‘The home that runs on Dunkin’

Dunkin’ Donuts invited its customers to live their tagline “Do more with less’.” As part of their campaign, they partnered with Airbnb to create a tiny house that runs on eco-friendly biofuels that utilises 65,000 lbs of used Dunkin’ ground coffee. This tiny house has been travelling across America, promoting sustainable practices and a stylish immersion into all things Dunkin’.

Like most industries, coffee chains have been forced to pass on the expense of their more sustainable choices to consumers. In fact, consumers pay on average 50 cents to the dollar to swap cows milk for a non-dairy alternative. Given this, experiential marketing campaigns like these that capture attention and educate on ‘greener’ habits can help nudge consumers towards accepting these higher prices and ultimately make more sustainable choices. 

O’Neill’s Ocean Futures Campaign

As part of their green marketing campaign, surf-wear brand O’Neill’s released a video of a consumer engagement experiment they ran in Amsterdam to highlight the recycled plastic emergency. 

A brand ambassador invited unbeknown members of the public to take a selfie before throwing their sunglasses in a nearby trash can. He explained that plastic bottles and sunglasses are made of the same materials, yet you bin plastics but keep sunglasses. The ambassador then guided participants to a 3-D printer where their plastic bottle was used to make a souvenir. 

Check it out for yourself below:

When looking at O’Neill’s product catalogue, campaigns like these make tonnes of sense. The surf-wear brand just won an award for their latest ‘Wove’ sunglasses being named the ‘Best Green Product’ in 2021 for sportswear. The ‘Wove’ glasses, like many O’Neill’s products, are made from recycled and biodegradable materials to minimise their environmental impact. Yet, unsurprisingly they are priced at $125 compared to around $70 for its more standard pairs. Given this, campaigns like ‘Our Ocean Mission’, which curates creative brand content, can educate consumers, inspire confidence and convince them of the worth of these higher price points. 

Unleash the power of your green marketing content with Knexus

These campaigns from Dunkin’ and O’Neill’s are powerful strategies to capture the hearts of consumers while educating them about more sustainable practices. However, like many marketing campaigns, they drive engagement and impressions but can often fail at converting customers into sales.

This is because green marketing content, which can be described as validation & social proof, isn’t necessarily seen during the buying journey as it’s locked away on social media or your blog or any other channel for that matter. This means shoppers who are influenced by a brand’s sustainable practices or ethics and values won’t receive the validation they need to make a purchase. However, brands can leverage this content to validate purchase decisions in eCommerce journeys to give shoppers the confidence to purchase. How? With Knexus.

How it works:

1. Content intelligence

Knexus uses content intelligence to identify all content that’s available to your brand & creates a single dynamic view of this content. This can be your brand’s own content living in your CMS, blog, social channels, or influencer & user-generated content. Knexus uses AI to understand the content & automatically tags & indexes it to ensure it’s intelligently delivered to the right shopper.

2. Customer intelligence

Knexus uses machine learning to build intelligence around each shopper & customer through the use of transactional & behavioural data. With a single view of all content & an in-depth understanding of each shopper & customer, Knexus uses these insights to pick the most relevant influencer, UGC or brand content to deliver to the shopper at the key moment of their buying journey.

3. Make your green marketing shoppable

Knexus uses AI to match the influencer, UGC & brand content to the relevant product. At the same time as a shopper is consuming the content, Knexus delivers the personalized product recommendation alongside – fuelling product discovery at the same time as providing social proof & validation to inspire confidence & encourage purchases.

4. Real-time delivery 

Knexus delivers personalized content in real-time through dynamic widgets which update to show the relevant influencer, UGC & brand content based on each shopper’s unique profile. These widgets are added to an existing page(s) which can either take over existing sections on the page which are being underutilized or to create new sections. Widgets are SEO optimized & are fully flexible to suit the look & feel of your page & display the content type of your choice.

Interested in finding out more about Knexus and unleashing the potential of your green marketing content? Book a demo.