Why environmental issues matter in marketing


Goodbye, Blue Monday - hello, Green Marketing! In today’s Monkey Monday vlog, Matt and Chris are talking about the value of putting environmental issues at the heart of your marketing and product development.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you’ll be aware that concerns about sustainability, climate change and waste are now very much part of the mainstream conversation. A brand’s green credentials (or lack thereof) can make all the difference for many conscientious consumers.

What can you do to improve your business’ environmental policy? Think about how your product is made, what kind of packaging you use, your product lifespan, and so on. Check out our article on this topic, which goes into loads more detail and provides some inspiring examples you can follow. Let us know all about your green plans in the comments!

Here are some inspiring links to check out:

Hit subscribe for more inspiring content from the Rusty Monkey team, and leave a comment with your ideas of subjects you’d like us to tackle next.

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Happy viewing!

Matt: What an attractive cap you’re wearing.

Chris: Thank you very much.

Matt: Why are you wearing that, Chris?

Chris: Well, because we’re going to talk about the environment today.

Matt: Ah, okay. Well, hi, I’m Matt.

Chris: I’m Chris.

Matt: And it’s a Monkey Monday.

Chris: It is.

Matt: And why are we talking about the environment?

Chris: Well, we just wanna talk about why things are going the way they’re going in marketing, and why environment is becoming really important. So I bought this cap to go on holiday - I’m going on holiday! That’s gonna be good - but the company I bought it from, they only really talk about environmental things, and I agree with that. So that’s why I bought it. And they did a thing where Donald Trump gave them a £1m tax rebate because he didn’t believe in any environmental concerns. And what they did is they invested that money into environmental projects. And I sort of believe that. I mean, I don’t really like much of their designed stuff, so when I went to go on holiday and buy a cap, I thought they might have something that I actually want to buy. So that’s the only reason I bought this cap.

Matt: And actually that’s something that we talk about an awful lot is that cultural marketing - so companies doing things that they believe in, communicating that with their audience, and getting that buy-in, getting that brand ambassador from their audience. And the environment, and sustainable products, that strategy is kind of a sensible one for most people to adopt. There’s a few people out there, but most people care about the environment. We all do. We all live here.

Chris: I hope so.

Matt: So it’s a sensible approach to take. We’ve worked with some companies and we’ve chatted with some of our own customers about this, and sometimes their initial knee-jerk reaction is, ‘Err, I don’t know, the packaging I look at, we could do it, but, you know, if we want to go greener with our packaging it’s just going to cost more, you know, I’m not sure how to communicate that.’ But when they kinda go away and think about these things, and with a bit of guidance, they can reach the conclusion, ‘Look, actually, well maybe we can see how our customers feel about this, maybe we can offer a greener version of exactly the same product, by reducing our packaging, and see if they would prefer that.’ See if they want to do that, you know, it can be a conversation point. The important thing, though, is not to do what’s called ‘greenwashing’, which is just to adopt environmental policies to try and win favour. This should be a dedicated belief that you have. If you don’t care about the environment, definitely don’t take this approach.

Chris: Yeah, I mean, there’s lots of interesting big companies doing things, so if you go onto Unilever’s homepage - who you would think is a massive behemoth of a sort of, I don’t know, I won’t say ‘evil’ company but, you know, that’s how you can be perceived - their whole homepage is about environmental issues and what they’re doing to try and make a difference, which is really interesting, I think.

Matt: Yeah, I think, even if you look back a little while ago at McDonald’s and how they started advertising - just going back 3 or 4 years - and the way they sort of moved away from the junk food and started showing adverts of big open farms - which are probably, again, not necessarily true - but the thing that they were trying to communicate is, ‘Oh, we have salads now and we have other fresh food,’ and you look at people like Greggs, who are starting to cater for the vegan market, they’re all doing things that are talking to a different audience, and a very specific audience, whether it’s environmental or veganism, or anything like that. But they’re doing it - some of them are doing it with a genuine belief in mind - some of them might just be greenwashing. You don’t want to be caught out as one of those who is greenwashing or adopting stuff just for the sake of it. You wanna make sure that you're doing it for something you believe in.

Chris: Yeah, and customers can see through when you’re not being genuine - people can see that straightaway.

Matt: Yeah, it’s not gonna last if you do this without a genuine belief behind it. You’ll get caught out pretty quickly, and it’s a bad idea. Bad move.

Chris: Yeah, and I think it’s a great thing to do - because we believe we should be a bit greener, and hopefully you do too.

Matt: Yeah, so maybe it’s time to start looking at your own green policy, your own sustainability, your carbon footprint, how your products are manufactured. There’s another good story, actually, I’m just gonna throw this one in there. I think it was from the Naked Brand. There was that company, I think they made outdoor wear in the States, I can’t remember the name of them [it’s Patagonia again], but they decided to do this and they looked at how environmentally friendly their outdoor wear was, and they kinda realised that the glues they made weren’t particularly good, and they were transporting all this stuff a certain way, and they just went out there and said this straightaway, and said, ‘Look, we wanna do better,’ but it connected with their audience straightaway, it didn't affect their sales by saying, ‘We’re not doing very well,’ because they were being honest and they wanted to do better and they said what they’re going to put in place. So, look, you don’t have to be perfect if you're gonna adopt sustainable green strategy, you just have to be authentic about it.

Chris: Yeah, go for it. See what you can do this year, and be green.

Matt: Be green. Like our green screen. Change it to something else, Chris.


Chris: Ah, look at that.


Chris: Oh yep.


Chris: Hmm, well that’s not green.

Matt: Oh. Bye!

Chris: Bye!


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