Eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable products get a reputation for being expensive. Because of this, many companies find that the cost of responsibly sourced material gets pushed aside in favor of more economically efficient, yet less environmentally sustainable, dinnerware.
The upfront cost of eco-friendly dinnerware may be more expensive than harmful products such as Styrofoam. However, the long-term ROI potential for choosing to go the greener route shows that, sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side.
Millennials as Consumers
Millennials have been heavily discussed over the past few years, and with good reason; millennials now account for the bulk of the workforce and a quarter of the world’s population. This makes millennials some of the biggest consumer markets at an estimated $1 trillion in consumer spending.
More so than any other generation, millennial’s are driven by social causes and share their findings on social media. Gallup found that millennials’ primary concerns involve issues surrounding the environment and that they are sharing these anxieties online with others. As more information is disseminated, millennials are becoming more aware and involved in green movements.
Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink
What does this mean for you, though? It means that there is concrete potential to increase profits by understanding the needs and wants of one of the largest consumer demographics. In fact, consider this: 73% of millennials say that they’d spend more on sustainable products.
But Millennials aren’t easily manipulated, and combined with their savvy computer skills you can’t allude truth from them.
There are many articles shared across social media exposing the phenomenon of Greenwashing. Greenwashing is a term coined to express the tactics a brand will make to appear environmentally-friendly in order to gain profit from millennial shoppers. Often they aren’t as green as they want their consumers to believe. In one example, a bottled water brand attempts to enter the health and wellness green landscape by claiming their product has “300% extra oxygen.”
In fact, sustainable brands found that 78% of people will boycott a product if they discover their environmental claims to be misleading. 78%.
Now more than ever shopping has become a political act. If the values of a brand don’t align with that of your target demographic, or they find hypocrisy in a brand, calls-to-action in the form of a boycott are now more prevalent than ever.
Calls to boycott, though, are a heck of a lot more visible on social media than are rally cries to pledge brand support…two-thirds of Americans take part in at least one boycott a year.American historian, Cornell University, Lawrence Glickman
If all that people interact with on social media are negative calls-to-action to boycott, exposing truths that betray your messaging, and general negative coverage the followers will lose faith in your brand. Loss of faith is a slow death for a business.
Make the Change
It can be hard as a business to justify changing the way things have always been, especially if that way has previously proved to be effective.
However, as consumer buying patterns and behaviors change, sourcing materials need to also reflect these changes. Staying ahead of the curve and anticipating social changes can prove more economically beneficial in the long-term. Namely, in ensuring the integrity of your brand isn’t overturned with a simple Google inquiry.
In an era of research-heavy consumers, a company that doesn’t live what they sell can fall under scrutiny and risk profit loss due to boycotts.
So, do yourself a favor, invest now and save later. You can view our compostable and recyclable high-quality products online here and contact us for high-quality eco-friendly products that can be customized to fit your brand standards.