Look at the picture above. These two coffees are identical in almost every way. Both cost the same, both taste the same, both look the same – but one is sustainable. Which would you buy?
We all want to buy sustainable products, right? They don’t harm the environment, so why wouldn’t we? Here’s why; there are more desirable options out there. Ones that are more affordable, more aesthetic, and more enticing through attractive branding and smart advertising campaigns. So perhaps the question we should be asking is ‘Who successfully sells sustainable products?’.
To sell anything, you have to convince the customer that they want to buy your product more than the next. The customer might consider things like, ‘Can I afford it?’, ‘Does it look good?’, ‘Is it good quality?’, ‘Does it do the job it is meant to do?’.
(It is important to recognise that the ‘looking good’ bit is especially manipulative towards our decision making. Which is why the most successful businesses in the world spend millions each year on design, branding and advertising. Just look at the high standard of Christmas commercials that supermarkets like Sainsbury’s show us at this time of year! In the UK alone, figures show that the creative industry is valued at £77 billion a year. Graphic design and branding make up a large proportion of that. Brands recognise the importance of looking their best).
If your product ticks all of those boxes then you’re onto a winner. The fact that it is sustainable is an added bonus. It won’t necessarily improve the function of the product, but the customer will know they are helping the environment. So they will come back for more… because doing good feels good.
So, the market for sustainable products is the same market as for all products. It’s anyone, and so it’s everyone. As long as it does the job it is meant to do; is – ‘affordable, aesthetic and functional’ – then it will sell.
Always remember, in the mind of a consumer, they come first, and the environment follows. So sell your sustainable product by satisfying all the needs of the customer.
What other steps would you take to sell sustainable products? Share your ideas below.