Why Sustainability Needs a Place in Your Marketing Plan

As we lead up to Earth Month, sustainability seems to creep up in conversation. During this annual glow-up, sustainability will likely be part of your communications plans and you’ll probably be looking to expand your own personal knowledge of how businesses are changing to be kinder to the planet. But, why only in April? Isn’t it true that you work to protect the environment and ensure equity all year long?

During a recent survey of Sustain Beauty Co clients, we discovered the answer may be in our assumption that others don’t share in our passion. Over 67% of salon owners and stylists surveyed said that sustainability was important to them, but only 19% of the same respondents reported that sustainability was extremely important to their guests. However, in a 2021 survey by The Conference Board, over 80% of US consumers say that sustainability is important to them when making a purchase and 53% said they would pay more for a socially responsible product.

Sustainability Concerns on the Rise

Is it the fact that Millennials are now middle age? Five years ago we were still adjusting to the fact that they were adults in management positions giving way to Gen Z workforce entry, but now Millennials and Gen Z present the largest portion of the economic buying power and are hugely invested in the future of the planet.

The survey results show an increase of 8% in just two years, when in 2019 only 72% of consumers expressed such concerns about the environment. But previous to this, the number of companies seeking certifications on using terms like ‘Vegan’ and ‘plant-based’ surged. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can’t deny the increase in the popularity of plant-based food products, green beauty, and alternative energy sources. Customers across the nation are changing their own personal habits and opting for the kinder path, and are therefore seeking out companies that have environmentally-friendly practices, such as using renewable energy, reducing waste, and implementing ethical labor practices.

Planning Your Sustainable Messaging Strategy

Good news! Incorporating sustainability into your marketing is likely going to be easier than you thought because changes are you are already doing a whole list of things that are better for the planet. Follow these practical steps on promoting your planet-saving policies:

  • Add a page on your website to post your values and vision.
  • Create a social media post for everything you do – big or small – and post one a week during Earth Month and then once a month throughout the year.
  • Post a list of the brands you work with in your sustainable mission.
  • Give each partner a shoutout on social, rotating one a week during Earth Month and then once a month throughout the year.
  • Post an owner reflection on what it means to be sustainable to your website blog and share on social and in your Earth Month newsletter.

Download a Free Checklist

Inspiration on becoming more sustainable

  • Rotate a list of vendors or partners that help you in your eco goals and feature them throughout the month, creating talking points for your team and incorporating promotions where applicable.
  • Brand some responsibly sourced reusable bags for your guests and banish single-use retail bags. Do this for Earth Month as part of an eco campaign and see how it goes. You may never go back.

Keep Their Attention

Before we call ‘greenwashing’ on anyone, these are things you can and should keep going all year. Once you and your team notice the positivity and brand equity you are building through your conscious actions, you can build this into the culture and watch your recruitment grow, your new client numbers boom, and your community street cred amplify.

Sustain Beauty Co clients find it’s easiest to start with what you know and love. Make a list of all the things you are doing in the salon, from using water saving shampoo nozzles to adding the recycling bin to the break room, and then think of the reason you do it. You’ll quickly find a common theme, whether that’s a passion for reducing the waste going into the landfill or saving life under water. Download the Sustainable Salon Checklist and discover some new ideas that will help you and your team create a list of goals to help reduce your impact.

Access the Free Marketing Kit

Promote yourself with these free tools!

Take it one step further and get your guests to vote on what’s most important to them. Sometimes it’s just as good publicity to show what you aren’t yet doing, but want to, that is the best sustainable move. Take the top two, three, five or more ideas that get the most support and create a plan that is progressive but doable.

For more inspiration on promoting your initiatives during Earth Month, check out the Sustain Beauty Co marketing toolkit for 30 days of social media ideas along with some website copy for each of our products, email blurbs, and professional imagery for your promotions.

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