Consumer environmental awareness is at an all-time high, and more brands than ever before are embracing sustainable and environmentally friendly marketing practices to sway their customers.
In short, when we think about green or sustainable branding, we naturally think of marketing to consumers.
However, B2B marketers also have the opportunity to embrace sustainable branding. If you consider how many suppliers are required for all the products and services that are sold, you'll see how green branding can help you stand out in the B2B space, just as it does in B2C marketing.
B2C businesses are largely driven by consumer preferences, pressure from competitors, and regulatory requirements; however, some adopt sustainable practices also because they are passionate about environmental issues and support such changes. Although B2B businesses aren't now facing the same pressure, that could easily change.
Being ahead of the curve is usually an advantage; therefore, investing in green policies now could lead to a prosperous future—from both a business and a sustainability angle.
Greener Supply Chains
Many companies are now looking to purchase more sustainable products the same way that consumers are. Brands may feel pressured by consumers to take responsibility for their supply chains and be intentional about their choice of suppliers.
Conversations began in the 1990s around questions of fair-trade practices and sweatshop manufacturing, and the initiative is now being taken further. Companies are now expecting their supply chains to meet certain environmentally friendly standards, such as reducing waste as well as water and energy usage.
With more businesses looking to present themselves as green and sustainable, suppliers will gain a market advantage if they also strive to be more sustainable and meet the new demands of their business customers.
A supplier scorecard is an evaluation tool that businesses use to assess the performance of their suppliers. The scorecards are traditionally used to measure things such as product quality or delivery time, but they can also be used to measure a supplier's sustainability.
Supplier scorecards that focus on sustainability would likely push B2B companies to highlight the greener benefits of their products or services. It is in your company's best interest to highlight and clearly communicate the greener features of your products.
Companies search for ways to cut their overhead and lower their budget. Consider how much could be saved with better efficiency in utilities.
Installing solar panels or water regulators in taps are just a few ways to make your utilities more efficient. They both save money and present your organization—B2B or otherwise—as greener and more environmentally friendly.
Another area of improvement that is often overlooked is waste management. Unnecessary waste production—one of the biggest offenses a company can commit in the world of green practices— has not only a negative impact on the environment and public health in surrounding areas but also a detrimental impact on your company's image.
Apart from obvious practices, such as proper disposal of hazardous waste, incorporating alternative eco-friendly processes in your production is a great way to not only reduce costs long term but also establish yourself as a sustainable brand in the eyes of your customers.
Although taking such steps can seem costly initially, doing so will pay for itself later—especially when other businesses also become interested in operating sustainably; by then, you will be ahead of the competition.
Greener B2B branding and marketing doesn't merely impact how your customers view your products or services; it can also change how your company is viewed as a place of employment.
Environmental awareness in consumers also influences your workforce. A company's values and mission are considered one of the top reasons to work for an organization. Because an increasing number of people believe that ethical and environmentally sustainable initiatives are important, demonstrating responsible business practices is a key competitive advantage in hiring.
Marketing Your Efforts
Although adopting sustainable and greener practices is a noble endeavor, the effort that goes into becoming a green business needs to be coupled with marketing campaigns that notify the public (and potential customers) of your new practices.
Every channel through which you market your brand should also be where you celebrate that you've gone green. Being accredited by a respectable green organization will also help to promote your success.
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Many consumers are eager to support businesses that are embracing sustainability, and the same is true for business customers, investors, and employees.
Businesses seek ways to stand out, and highlighting your shift to green and sustainable practices can only improve your company's reputation.