Surviving a Sustainability Story Setback with Transparency and Truth
Brands adopt sustainability practices for a myriad of reasons. Some might feel a genuine responsibility to reduce their impact, while others are simply trying to capture a larger market share or comply with local environmental regulations. Regardless of their primary motivation, there’s no denying the positive marketing value of these efforts. A well-executed sustainability story can attract positive press, increase sales, and grow brand loyalty among discerning consumers that incorporate these values in their purchase decisions.
In some cases, however, the tide that draws in consumers can also turn into a storm surge. Although fairly uncommon, an untrue or inflated sustainability claim — once exposed — can wreak havoc on a brand’s reputation and trigger the wrath of a greenwashed customer. While this ire is typically reserved for those brands blatantly falsifying their sustainability achievements, it can occasionally rain down upon well-intentioned companies that simply didn’t do their complete due diligence or ignored the nuances of sustainability jargon and standards.
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