10 Real Ways to Increase Brand Awareness for Sustainable Businesses

brand strategy


As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues and social responsibility, brands that echo these values are growing in popularity. Sustainable businesses are no longer a niche segment but a powerful force that's reshaping the landscape of various industries. 

However, to stand out and gain recognition and gain a competitive advantage in this burgeoning market, these businesses need to elevate their brand awareness. We suggest that you read this article after checking out our Brand Awareness: A Deep Dive into Creative Paths to Elevation article first. Here we will explore how sustainable brands can achieve this, using industry-specific advice and potent examples.

Brand Awareness in Sustainable Brands: A Unique Undertaking

Brand awareness goes beyond consumers recognizing a brand's logo or name. It extends to the understanding and appreciation of a brand's values and mission. For sustainable businesses, brand awareness isn't merely about being known. It's about being recognized for their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices, ecological preservation, and positive societal impact.

Elevating brand awareness for sustainable brands is crucial for several reasons. Increased brand awareness results in higher consideration in the purchase decision process and enables a brand to differentiate itself in a competitive market. For sustainable brands, where consumers are particularly concerned about authenticity and transparency, robust brand awareness is a vehicle for establishing trust and credibility.

Delving into Industries: Practical Ways to Increase Brand Awareness

With this foundation, let's dive into specific strategies for different sustainable and social impact industries:

Food and Beverage Industry

Sustainable brands in the food and beverage sector can leverage their ethical sourcing and commitment to natural ingredients to enhance brand awareness. Transparent supply chains and sustainable development in their products also add to the competitive business model in the food/beverage industry.

1. Patagonia Provisions, a branch of the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, extends its commitment to environmental conservation to food. They openly share the story behind their products and their focus on regenerative organic farming, capturing consumer attention and increasing brand awareness.

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2. BrewDog, a craft beer brand, has made a name for itself through its carbon-negative status and forest preservation efforts. This commitment to sustainability is integral to their brand messaging and has been pivotal in heightening their brand awareness.

Fashion Industry

Sustainable fashion brands can bolster their brand awareness by emphasizing fair-trade practices, waste reduction, and the use of sustainable materials. In fact, almost any kind of sustainability strategy is quickly becoming a huge must in the fashion industry.

1. Veja, a sneaker brand, communicates its commitment to transparency, fair trade, and the use of organic materials across all platforms. Their transparent pricing campaign, in which they shared the cost breakdown of their sneakers, significantly boosted their brand recognition.

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2. Eileen Fisher is known for its take-back program, where customers can return their used Eileen Fisher clothes for rewards. Their circularity initiatives and ethical manufacturing processes are central to their brand messaging, reinforcing their brand awareness.

Beauty Industry

Sustainable beauty brands can elevate brand awareness by showcasing their cruelty-free testing, transparent company culture, organic ingredients, and sustainable packaging.

1. RMS Beauty, an organic makeup brand, emphasizes the purity of its ingredients. By educating consumers about the harmful effects of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, they have been able to differentiate themselves and heighten brand awareness.

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2. Ethique is a plastic-free beauty brand that presents its carbon and water savings statistics on its packaging. This practice creates a direct link between their brand and environmental preservation, contributing to their growing brand awareness.

Tech Industry

Tech companies with a business strategy with a sustainability focus can raise their brand awareness by spotlighting sustainability efforts such as their renewable energy usage, electronic waste reduction efforts, and the development of energy-efficient devices. Supportive company culture also comes as a huge bonus when it comes to techy business models.

1. Fairphone has differentiated itself in the smartphone market with its focus on longevity and repairability, reducing electronic waste. Their open communication about their supply chain and impact metrics has earned them significant brand recognition.

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2. Google's commitment to operating carbon-free by 2022 and its dedication to recycled materials in all its hardware products are pivotal to its brand awareness strategy. Google's environmental report and sustainability efforts demonstrate how a tech giant can embed sustainability in its operations and brand image, thereby raising brand awareness.

Automotive Industry:

Sustainable automotive brands can use their advancements in electric vehicle technology and dedication to reducing carbon emissions as a springboard to increase brand awareness. The automotive industry is becoming a sphere where sustainable business strategy (albeit the importance of sleek design) becomes a competitive advantage for a brand.

1. Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer, has heightened its brand awareness through its mission to keep the world adventurous forever. Its commitment to sustainable adventure, coupled with transparent communication about its eco-friendly manufacturing processes, has elevated its brand recognition.

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2. Volvo, a well-established automotive brand, is making waves with its promise to become a fully electric car company by 2030. Its vision to create a safer and more sustainable future is prominently featured in its brand messaging, thereby strengthening its brand awareness.

Home and Lifestyle Industry:

Brands in the home and lifestyle sectors can increase their brand awareness by highlighting sustainable operational efficiency through their use of sustainable materials, energy-efficient products, and ethical sourcing.

1. Boll & Branch, a sustainable home textiles brand, emphasizes its use of organic cotton and fair trade practices. By educating consumers about the impact of conventional cotton farming and unfair labor practices, Boll & Branch has differentiated itself and boosted its brand awareness.

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2. IKEA's sustainability commitment is woven into its brand. By pledging to become climate positive by 2030 and offering a range of eco-friendly products, IKEA has successfully managed to enhance its brand awareness in the sustainable home and lifestyle sector.

Travel and Tourism Industry

Sustainable brands in the travel and tourism industries can amplify their brand awareness by accentuating their commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable business practices, community engagement, and biodiversity conservation.

1. Intrepid Travel, a sustainable travel company, has gained recognition for its small-group tours designed to minimize environmental impact and promote local engagement. Their strong stance on ethical travel and commitment to becoming climate positive by 2020 have significantly boosted their brand awareness.

Intrepid's Purpose & Mission | Intrepid Travel AU

2. The Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, located in Mexico, has successfully elevated its brand awareness through its eco-experiences program, which involves nature conservation activities, cultural immersion, and a strong commitment to sustainable tourism.

Energy Industry

Sustainable brands in the energy sector can improve their brand awareness by emphasizing their renewable energy initiatives, innovations in energy efficiency business sustainability, and contributions towards a sustainable energy future. Climate change awareness is also a big topic most energy brands need to elaborate on in the near future.

1. First Solar has made significant strides in increasing its brand awareness through its advanced thin-film solar modules and commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Their commitment to leading the world’s sustainable energy future is a major pillar of their brand communication.

2. Orsted, a Danish company that pivoted from fossil fuels to renewable energy, has increased its brand awareness through its ambitious goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025. Their transformational journey serves as a testament to their dedication to a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Construction and Architecture Industry

Sustainable brands in the construction and architecture industries can heighten their brand awareness by showcasing their green building practices, use of sustainable materials, and energy-efficient designs.

1. Skanska, a multinational construction company, leverages its green construction practices to stand out. They have increased their brand awareness by publicizing their goal to be a leader in green building and by providing transparent sustainability reporting.

2. Perkins+Will, an architectural firm, has enhanced its brand awareness through its commitment to sustainable and health-conscious design. Their pledge to create spaces that optimize the health of occupants and the planet has greatly elevated their brand profile.

Consumer Electronics Industry

Sustainable brands in the consumer electronics sector can enhance their brand awareness by promoting their eco-friendly manufacturing processes, commitment to reducing e-waste, and development of energy-efficient products.

1. Dell Technologies is leading the way in the sustainable electronics space. Through their ambitious 2030 moonshot goals, which include the commitment to make their products more sustainable and circular, Dell has been successful in increasing their brand awareness.

2. Fairphone, a sustainable smartphone manufacturer, has garnered attention with its modular smartphones designed for longevity. Their open communication about the supply chain and dedication to fair trade have raised their brand awareness.

10 tips for augmenting brand awareness in sustainable industries

Telling the Sustainability Story

Nothing captures attention quite like a good story. Leveraging the narrative behind environmental sustainability in efforts to connect with the audience on an emotional level. Stories that reflect the brand's commitment to a sustainable future can leave a lasting impression and drive brand awareness.

Leveraging the Power of Collaboration

Teaming up with sustainable brands or influencers that share the same values. This helps tap into new audiences, increase brand visibility, and reinforce the commitment to sustainability.

Making Use of Eco-labels and Certifications

These can significantly enhance brand credibility and act as a shorthand for how companies incorporate sustainability into their efforts. Certifications like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, or LEED can resonate strongly with consumers looking for sustainable brands.

Encouraging and Rewarding Green Behaviors

Here we talk about inspiring consumers to adopt more sustainable business behaviors by offering incentives. This could range from discounts for returning packaging for reuse to rewards for recommending your sustainable brand to others.

Showcasing Transparency

Transparency isn't just a buzzword in the sustainable sector; it's an expectation. Offering behind-the-scenes insights into the supply chain, manufacturing processes, or the impact of your sustainability initiatives to build trust and enhance brand awareness.

Champion a Sustainable Cause

Aligning your brand with a cause that reflects your sustainable business values can significantly increase brand awareness. Whether it's fighting against deforestation, promoting clean energy, or supporting fair trade, championing a cause gives consumers another reason to remember your brand.

Sustainability Education

Brands that educate their audiences about the importance of sustainability in business, and its impact on the planet can differentiate themselves and drive brand awareness. This could take the form of informative blog posts, webinars, or social media content.

Interactive Sustainability Reports

Instead of a conventional PDF, consider creating an interactive, web-based sustainability report. This not only engages your audience but also makes your corporate sustainability professionals' initiatives more memorable, thus enhancing brand awareness.

Using Gamification

Gamifying aspects of your sustainability initiatives can make engagement with your brand more enjoyable. Whether it's a mobile app that tracks the positive environmental impact of purchasing your products or an interactive online game that educates about your sustainability strategy, gamification can be a powerful tool for raising brand awareness.

Sustainable Packaging Innovations

With packaging often being the first physical touchpoint for customers, innovative, sustainable packaging can make a powerful statement about your brand. This could be seed-infused packaging that can be planted, packaging made from recycled ocean plastic, or any other eco-friendly and innovative solution that can leave a lasting impression.

Embracing Vulnerability and Transparency About Mistakes

A sustainable brand is bound to face challenges and make mistakes along the way. Instead of hiding them, openly communicate about them. This transparency showcases your brand's honesty and commitment to improving. Consumers respect brands that admit when they fall short and show a willingness to make changes. 

When things go wrong, they can be addressed head-on and discussed to learn from the experience. Talking about the steps taken to fix the problem signals that it won't happen again. This sort of transparency can turn skeptics into supporters, reinforcing the brand's integrity. 

See you at Bolder

Sustainable businesses are thriving in 2023, but with greater exposure comes greater responsibility and competition. We at Bolder are constantly looking for new ways to raise brand awareness of brands and business leaders that lead the wave of tech, sustainability, and social impact. Consider yourself one of them? Hit us up to make your brand even better.

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