With consumers’ decreasing attention spans and ad blockers, there’s no doubt that being a marketer today is challenging. Building a strong and trusted brand is more important than ever when it comes to staying competitive.
CMOs may be surprised to learn that turning their attention to energy efficiency is an additional way to unlock greater value from their brands. As you set your strategic priorities for the coming months, consider how energy efficiency can play a role in helping you achieve your marketing objectives.
Energy efficiency doesn’t have to remain a cost-savings objective alone. In fact, it can become a core part of your overall brand promise. Take IKEA as an example. The popular furniture maker has long advocated for sustainable, efficient living. As part of its strategy to truly live that brand, it retrofitted its Ontario stores with more energy-efficient lighting.
Indeed, Canadians prefer brands that they feel act ethically. One recent study found that more than half (52 per cent) of Canadian consumers want companies to take a stand on issues close to their hearts, including environmental and social issues. Even more (55 per cent) say a company’s words, values and actions influence their purchase decisions.
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Even in today’s digital-first environment, the in-person customer experience is still vital to your brand – and energy efficiency is a simple way to drive a better interaction.
In retail environments, for example, more efficient lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation can all play a part in improving the customer experience. Simple, low-cost initiatives can help merchandise look more attractive, customers feel safer and more comfortable, and even maintain higher product quality for longer.
Current employees are often the best advocates for your brand, acting as ambassadors for your culture. Along with influencing loyalty and sales, a strong brand plays an important role in attracting and retaining talent. More than three-quarters of Canadians (77 per cent) in one study, for example, said that they prefer to work for a company with a strong corporate social responsibility policy. So, along with saving money, energy-efficiency initiatives can boost your organizational purpose among employees.
Energy efficiency can also have a positive impact on your organizational culture and morale. Many of the moves you make to improve energy efficiency also make your work environment more comfortable, attractive and productive – all of which have a positive impact on your employees. More efficient LED bulbs, for example, can also make a workplace brighter and easier to work in, while upgraded heating, ventilation and air conditioning can keep employees healthier.
Your customers are savvy. With so much information at their fingertips, they expect transparency and authenticity about your actions as an organization.
Energy efficiency, then, doesn’t have to be a project that happens in the background. It can be another public-facing initiative that shows your company as a forward-thinking brand – one that cares about taking tangible action to always improve.