Defining Your Difference Shows Proof of Impact
When you come up with a standard-backed framework, your entire marketing message becomes less wishy-washy. If you market your brand as being “environmentally friendly” but don’t back that claim up with concrete details, it won’t mean a whole lot. You need to put measurable structure around your claim in order for it to be truly compelling.
Allbirds, a sustainable shoe company, offers a good example of how to do this well. Instead of just calling themselves “environmentally friendly,” they’ve gone much further in defining their values by pledging to go carbon neutral. They’ve laid out a concrete plan for how they will get there, beginning with carbon offsets. They are also committed to moving toward increasingly sustainable practices.
In addition, Allbirds offers concrete examples of the materials and innovative technologies they already use in order to make their process more environmentally sustainable than the industry standard. By transparently communicating the details of their environmental commitment, Allbirds has put a concrete stake in the ground — and created a clear, authentic brand in the process.
Of course, Allbirds has taken these steps on their own. And many other social enterprises have already done something similar. But by joining forces with other similar social enterprises, you can set your business apart and drive bigger change at the industry level.
Not sure where to start? The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are well known in the social impact space. They are geared toward governments, of course, but you might consider using them as a loose framework to guide your exploration.