When a business makes the choice to improve their impact on the environment, they experience many benefits. One, in particular, is that it creates added loyalty from new and existing customers alike.
Going green has many benefits including saving money, meeting government legislation and in general helping fight against the environmental crisis, so it is always worth businesses looking at their operations and supplier chains in order to improve.
Aligns with customer demand
Due to increasing media coverage and awareness on the environmental and plastic crisis, customer demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable products are on the rise.
With increased customer demand it is good business sense to meet that demand, whether that’s through your business policies and values or the end product.
We’ve already seen a rise in vegan and vegetarian food options, as well as sustainable alternatives to plastic products such as reusable cotton bags, bamboo toothbrushes and eco-friendly gift vouchers. When businesses start listening to their customers, it attracts new business and aids loyalty as customers are getting what they want – why would they go elsewhere?
Demonstrates that the business cares
In the past, large conglomerates had a lot more power, creating products and marketing them to drive demand. Due to increased technology and access to information, the power balance has shifted back towards the customer.
With the world in the state that it is, customers are more loyal to businesses that have values that align with their beliefs. So much so, that it’s led to government legislation to demand businesses to cut their carbon emissions.
It adds value to a business and their proposition when they go over and above the minimum legislation. It demonstrates to their customers, both new and existing, that they care and generally want to make a difference – it’s not just all about profits.
This can not only attract new business, but also customers tend to remain loyal when they know a business is there to benefit the community and not just their bottom line.
Going green leads to more transparency
The growing awareness of environmental issues is leading to new trends and government legislation that is changing at a fast pace. Due to this, more and more transparency is required from business to share with their stakeholders the efforts they’re making to be greener.
This isn’t just to avoid any fines from not meeting government legislation but is also important in building trust with your customers. When a business can be transparent about their activities, especially when they are positive, it creates loyalty, builds relationship and ultimately, will help the company blossom.
Can help to cut costs
Going green for a business can mean any number of things. It can be reflected in your business values, how you source or make your products, or it could be switching to renewable energy.
One of the easiest ways to cut costs within a business is to get rid of single-use plastics and invest energy saving and water saving methods throughout the company. For example, switching from plastic cups and investing in reusable glasses, switching to renewable energy or getting automatic lighting. In addition to this, you can look at your operations from suppliers to output and create more efficient processes which could lead to saving money.
How does this help improve loyalty? When a business is able to cut costs by opting for greener alternatives, it not only demonstrates their commitment to helping the environment but allows them to invest their money back into the business. This enables them to create higher quality products, meet customer demands easier and, in turn, attract loyal customers.
Your customers become your advocates
When customers demand environmentally responsible businesses and become loyal, as a result, they become your advocates. This increases the likelihood that they will tell their friends and family about your business – whether that’s in person or on social media.
They’ll more likely share recommendations to their friends so growth is built more organically. In the UK loyalty cards or referral schemes are a great way to build business through your regular customers.
If a customer also backs you and believes in your brand, they’re more likely to purchase gifts for their loved ones too. Custom gift card printing can give them an easy option to be an advocate of your brand and there are even eco-friendly options available too!
Gaining a competitive advantage
Whilst the uptake of businesses adopting environmental, sustainable and social responsibilities are increasing due to demand and government legislation, those that go over and above can gain a competitive advantage over those that just hit targets and don’t invest.
When a business does more than required, it adds value to their products, especially when demand is increasing. Therefore, it provides an additional USP that can make a difference in buyer choice. Innovative, forward-thinking businesses, particularly when it comes to environmental issues can give businesses the edge over their competitors and increase loyalty in your customers as a result.
Higher quality = longevity
When businesses take time to review their operations, suppliers and environmental policies, it often leads to higher quality products. Whether that’s through materials provided or more efficient processes, it enables business to have a higher quality output, which benefits the customer.
Sustainable clothing will tend to last a lot longer than cheap high street brands as the materials are of higher quality. Similarly, most eco-friendly products are designed to either be used again or recycled responsibly. Therefore, customers get a lot more out of their product which will increase loyalty.
Whichever way your business decides to go greener, every little change can make a big difference. Not only can you cut costs and improve efficiency, but you’ll generate a larger, more loyal customer base that will enable your business to thrive, whilst protecting the environment.