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Sustainability Myth #4: Messaging Sustainable Solutions to Consumers is too Complex

As an insight professional, you have the opportunity to help your marketing teams make data-backed, consumer-approved messaging choices that avoid pitfalls and drive the types of outcomes your organizations are looking to achieve with new sustainable solutions. 

Eastman has been exploring messaging strategies across consumer markets and industries for several years and has found three key elements that can make sustainable messaging resonate with consumers.

First, brands and retailers must begin with a materials-centric story. As shared a few months ago, materials is the number one definition of sustainability across product categories in the minds of consumers.  Starting with materials will be an easy indication to consumers that a product is sustainable, serving as the foundation for your overall messaging program. 

Second, brands and retailers need to reinforce how the sustainable materials used in a product will meet or exceed consumers’ primary needs. Eastman has found that quality and performance drive consumer purchases in all industries while sustainability falls to the bottom of purchase driver lists. In fact, when asked what additional information consumers need to know about a product made from sustainable materials, consumers primarily want to know if the product will be as high quality, as long lasting, and live up to performance expectations of products without sustainable materials.  

Finally, brands and retailers must find creative ways to make their sustainability improvements tangible for consumers so they know how buying this new solution will make a positive impact on the environment. For example, brands offering products made with recycled plastics could showcase how much waste is being diverted from landfills within that product or overall from a product line. 

Through its Molecular Recycling initiative, Eastman has supported the messaging and positioning of sustainable solutions with a number of industry leaders. Black & Decker, wich uses Eastman’s Tritan™ Renew materials, has done a wonderful job of explaining the sustainable materials used in their reviva line, how their products will meet the expectations on performance and quality Black & Decker is known for, and showcases how each product takes a significant bite out of the plastic waste crisis. Similar strategies are being successfully deployed by partners such as CamelBak, H&M, BruMate, Mykita, among others. 

As brands and retailers look to introduce sustainable solutions across industries, insight professionals have a unique opportunity to become the thought leaders on sustainability messaging within and outside their organizations. There has never been a bigger opportunity for insight professionals to drive so much change while also working on efforts that have very tangible outcomes.

Click here for Justin Coates’ series for All Things Insights, “Exploring 10 Myths About Global Consumers & Sustainability.”

Contributor

  • Justin Coates

    Justin Coates is Eastman’s Head of Global Market Research & Consumer Insights, responsible for leading business intelligence, customer experience, user experience, foresighting, and consumer insights across Eastman. Before joining Eastman in 2017, Coates spent a decade at Cotton Incorporated managing their global consumer insights research and positioning himself as a thought leader on consumer trends with the world’s largest brands and retailers. He holds a Masters of Economics degree from North Carolina State University and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from High Point University. Coates lives with his wife and son in Kingsport, Tennessee.

    View all posts

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