In recent years, the environment has become a hot topic for everyone, as we begin to realise the impact of past actions upon our planet. It’s clear that many of these actions have been, and continue to be, wasteful and damaging to the environment, and the realisation that it cannot continue is beginning to sink in. Julian Betts, head of customer services for Evander Glazing & Locks explains.
Many aspects of the construction and home-improvement industry have changed to reflect these concerns, as government guidelines and consumer demand dictates. This is, clearly, a good thing for everyone, but companies in the sector may not be making the most of the brilliant marketing potential that green credentials hold.
What customers want
There has been a growing trend in demand for ethically sourced and eco-friendly goods and services in recent years. In fact, in 2015, when UK inflation was around 0.5%, sales of ethical products and services actually grew by 8%. This was reported in the Ethical Markets Report 2015, which also shows the continuing upward trend in the demand for greener choices over the years. For example, the market value for the eco-friendly and ethical sector was £13bn in 1999, rising to an impressive £80bn by 2014.
Identifying eco-friendly traits
Identifying what aspects of your products or service are eco-friendly is a wise starting point. Think about what your specific customers will respond to. In the home improvement and construction industry, physical products such as windows and doors are the easiest to market in this way, as you can find green benefits in almost all materials and styles available. For instance, aluminium can be recycled indefinitely without losing quality, timber is a fantastic natural insulator and uPVC is now more widely recycled than ever before, at 50%.
Ethical plus-points can be to do with the recyclability of a product or material, how sustainably sourced it is, the carbon footprint of your company, and even the benefits that increased energy efficiency brings to the customers themselves, such as lower bills and reduced condensation within the home.
Marketing green credentials
Once you’ve identified green aspects of your business that can be utilised, decide how best to tailor this to your audience. For instance, a customer who is having new windows fitted is likely to be more interested in their U-values and general energy efficiency, rather than the carbon footprint of the manufacture, delivery and installation. While both may look good on paper, your customer’s motivation, fears and desires should always be addressed first and foremost.
As customers are beginning to align their values with their spending habits across almost all markets, it’s up to individual businesses to meet this demand, not just to further their reach and sales, but to help to save the planet too.