What does sustainable brand building mean, exactly? When we think of the term sustainable, we think green and environmentally friendly. But this is not what a sustainable brand is about.
Sustainable brand building is all about doing what’s best for your brand in order for it to survive and thrive. It’s about earning more money, staying ahead of the competition, and receiving more and higher funding.
It’s about adapting to the ever-changing business scenery and resonating with your target market.
That being said, there are certain requirements you need to satisfy before you can achieve a sustainable brand. What are these? Let’s take a closer look at sustainable brand building and how you can build the best possible version of your brand.
Characteristics of a Sustainable Brand
It’s easy to recognize a sustainable brand – when you know what to look for, of course. Here are the essential characteristics that every sustainable brand should possess:
Extensive Brand Influence
Brand influence is crucial for sustainable brand building. You need to really speak – and understand– the language of consumers and investors. Create and shape your brand in a way that affects and influences the behavior of consumers. And most importantly, be the strongest advocate of your brand’s vision. Start by is setting a firm foundation for your brand with a trademark. Not only does a trademark protect your brand from imposters, but it also shows your consumers, partners, andinvestors that you mean serious business.
Coca-Cola is a great example of brand influence. The brand has developed a water stewardship, a sustainable packaging, and a green strategy to position itself as a sustainable brand to be reckoned with. In doing so, they have demonstrated that they truly care about how their products impact the environment. And have proven it. For one, their bottle now contains 24% less plastic than it did previously. Therefore, we can agree that in order to be an extensive brand influence, your actions need to speak louder than words. And Coca-Cola knows this. This is why they are a strong influence among consumers and competitors.
Net Positive Products and Services
Being net-positive means supporting sustainability beyond the company. It’s a new way of doing business that aims to put back more into society, the environment, and the global economy than taking out of it. The purpose is to not only minimize negative social and environmental impacts, but to create positive impacts as well.
Kingfisher is a good example of a net-positive brand. The multinational retailing company shares their net positive aspirations for 2050. These include creating more forest than it uses; generating more energy than it consumes; and supporting projects that build local communities and equip people with skills. This brand certainly understands the importance of leaving a positive corporate footprint.
Purpose over Profit
The best way to make money is to notmake profit your priority. A truly sustainable brand knows when they should put profit aside and focus on their purpose. Think of this as a long-term investment. You need to give before you can take. The purpose-driven business model has worked really well for some of the most successful brands, including Google, Dove, and Starbucks.
Starbucks takes corporate responsibility very seriously. Their purpose over profit mindset contributes to their success and high revenue. For instance, the brand strives towards 100 percent ethically sourced coffee, commits to fighting against hunger, and has even launched a climate change strategy. These values align with those of their target audience and are paramount for their success.
Regeneration is a newer strategy that businesses use to build a sustainable brand. In short, regenerative systems suggest that business processes, social interactions, and the environment are all interdependent. As a result, sustainable brands see the potential in investing in regenerative systems as a way to grow and conform to the ever-changing business ecosystem.
For instance, Dell uses renewable energy, like solar panels, in their plants to help the environment. Similarly, tech giant Apple consumes 70% less power today than it did 10 years ago. Caring for the environment inspires other brands to follow in their footsteps and prompts consumers to support their processes by buying and using their products. It’s a smart strategy that benefits everyone, really.
How to Develop a Sustainable Brand Building Strategy
There are several key steps to developing a sustainable brand:
- Step 1: Understand your audience and identify what matters to them. What do your consumers care about?
- Step 2: Know what you stand for. What is your brand passionate about and how are you supporting these values?
- Step 3: Assess your current business practices. How effective are your current business practices in promoting a sustainable brand?
- Step 4: Inspire consumers to take a leap of faith. Do your corporate values resonate with your consumers?
- Step 5: Share your milestones with target audience. What have you achieved so far and where are you headed?
Sustainable Brand Building: An Overview
What does it mean to have a sustainable brand that consumers trust? It means success, longevity, conscientiousness, and of course, profit. To build a sustainable brand, your must ensure your brand is positioned to grow. Do this by developing an effective brand building strategy and sharing values that resonate with consumers, partners, and even investors.
Be your own worst critic. Search for ways to continuously push your brand to the limit. This is the only way you can set yourself up as a sustainable brand.
Without a solid brand building strategy, your chances of success are slim. And they will only get worse over time. Your consumers will lose trust, society will look past you, and competitors will overtake you. This is the exact opposite of what a sustainable brand should be. So invest in sustainable brand building and build the best possible version of your brand.
Does your brand make the cut? We can help you set the foundations of a sustainable brand by trademarking your key elements. Contact us to find out more.