Marketers have an incredible opportunity to effect real change, by both creating more sustainable products/services and influencing consumers to use their products in a more sustainable way. B&Q have seized this opportunity by engaging with their customers around creating more sustainable homes. Their One Planet Home Range manager, Gin Tidridge (who was a table host at our recent Environment Knowledge Swap), gives us her perspective on the role marketing can play here:
“At B&Q, our One Planet Home® programme gives us a framework to talk to customers about creating more sustainable homes - from insulating lofts to choosing lower impact paints. We have created a dedicated DIY site (www.diy.com/eco) for our customers to learn more about creating beautiful homes that don’t cost the earth with benefits from saving water or energy, growing your own and more.
The advice I would give to marketers using their work to influence consumers/customers on sustainability would be:
1. Understand who the customer is, how they feel about the environment, their motivations and their lifestyles. The environment is a subject that an increasing number of customers care about – over 50% of the population according to DEFRA’s 2008 segmentation study – but it may not actually drive purchasing behaviour.
2. Use that knowledge to get the proposition right. Examine concerns and potential barriers as well as benefit:
(a) How will the customer directly benefit?
(b) How will the environment benefit?
(c) What are potential barriers? Price may be one, but there may be others – concerns about performance and ease of change for example.
3. Layer the communication. Presenting a customer with an essay at the point of purchase may not be effective – but do ensure that more information is always available (for instance on your website). Even if a customer does not go to the next layer, its presence brings greater credibility to the communication.
4. Good customer communications are clear, straightforward and truthful. Advising customers on sustainability is no different. “
To see more of the work Business in the Community is doing around marketing for sustainable business growth visit our website.
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