What drives sustainable consumption?
People are more than twice as likely to choose a responsible product when marketing messages appeal to their sense of right rather than wrong.LEARN MORE
Subjects were more than twice as likely to choose Fair Trade versus non-certified teas when marketing messages promoted good. For example: “Our fair trade teas contribute to equitable conditions for workers.” Guilt-inducing messages bashing the other teas, such as: “How can you enjoy a cup of tea knowing the people who produce it are not being treated fairly?” – were not as successful at selling the Fair Trade teas.
Don’t guilt your customers into buying sustainable products. Make buyers feel good about their choices and use subtle messaging that evokes thoughts of right and wrong.
Eco Options: Empowering the Customer with Environmentally Preferable Choices
The Home Depot Canada
For The Home Depot Canada, this is an opportunity to help customers identify home improvement products and solutions that have a sustainable focus. Through its Eco Options assortment, the company offers more than 2,500 environmentally preferable products. These products help customers conserve water and energy, reduce waste or improve indoor air quality.
Will consumers pay more for responsible products?
Consumers will pay up to 5 to 10% more for sustainable products, assuming product features and quality stay the same.LEARN MORE
For coffee, the story is even more pronounced. Researchers found consumers were willing to pay 16% more per pound for Fair Trade certified beans. Endorsement from a credible third party contributes to this willingness to pay more.
Focus first on the features and quality that your customers value, then find out what environmental or social issues matter most to your target audiences. Get third-party certification from a credible organization that supports your product’s sustainable credentials; this will boost consumer willingness to pay.
Trudel, R., & Cotte, J. 2009. Is it really worth it? Consumer response to ethical and unethical practices. MIT/ Sloan Management Review, 50(2): 61-68.
Consumers expect a discount for unethical products that is 40% greater than the premium they’ll pay for sustainable products.LEARN MORE
The study showed unethical activities had more impact than positive activities on coffee buyers’ willingness to pay. Consumers reported they were willing to pay an extra $1.40 per pound as a reward for Fair Trade practices, but the punishment – or expected discount – for unethical practices was $2.40 per pound.
It pays to invest in responsible sourcing practices, so be proactive.
How do consumers relate sustainability and luxury?
Green, ethical, sustainable…luxurious? Consumers aren’t buying it.LEARN MORE
Researchers indicate that the negative short-term effects of CSR observed in this study need to be considered within a longer time frame.
Every brand has the potential to benefit from sustainability efforts, but framing is key. Ensure your sustainable activities are communicated in a way that is consistent with the brand that your customers love.
Does cause-related marketing increase what people will pay?
People will pay the most for products when at least 10% of the purchase price goes to charity.LEARN MORE
If you are donating proceeds to a charitable fund, choose utilitarian goods and allot a higher percentage to your designated charity to promote a win-win situation. Commit a high percentage of product sales to the cause, so customers will know you are sincere.