The True Measure of Sustainability

by: Lisa Proctor

As an expert in sustainable advertising, wellness promotion, eco business and wellness marketing, I am often surprised that the meaning of sustainability is still so misunderstood. It is not uncommon for instance for corporate executives to balk at the term—since they believe it means their business is about to do something really good but lose a lot of money doing it.

But the reverse is true. Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe true sustainability is the measure of how well you do by doing good. It doesn't matter whether you work for a publicly owned company or non-profit, goals and objectives must be met. Money must be raised. Revenue increased. And quantifiable progress measured. (Even if that "progress" means the number of activists who have signed a petition.)

The practice of sustainable marketing brings us full circle. It
sustains us. Sustainability is about giving and receiving.  It's like breathing. We breathe in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. In return, trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. It's reciprocity at its finest. And it's a practice that keeps people and the planet as healthy as our bottom line.

Three Steps to Green Sales
By Lisa Proctor

Every time a purchase is made a consumer asks themselves three questions:

1) What's in it for me?
2) How is your product unique in the marketplace
3) Why should I believe you?

When it comes to green advertising, environmental marketing, social change marketing or sustainable marketing—each of these three essential questions needs to be addressed before a consumer will buy.

Here's the good news. Each of these questions is easier to address when you have a product or service that speaks to personal or environmental health. Whether you're promoting organic produce, green lawn care, sustainably made furniture, an eco spa or energy efficient appliances, you have a story to tell that more conventional products can't touch.

It gets even better. Consumers of products like yours (generally LOHAS consumers) don't want to be sold. They don't want to be advertised to. They want the back story. They are hungry for data, information and proof. They want to know they can trust you. They are leery of being green washed. So you don't worry about "selling," your job is to "share." Remain fully transparent. Be authentic. And the sales will come.

Lisa Proctor is the president and creative director for firefly180 marketing—a branding and advertising agency that specializes in LOHAS marketing, wellness marketing, green marketing and renewable energy marketing.


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