How can small brands have a voice in the market as ethical goes mainstream?

How can small brands have a voice in the market as ethical goes mainstream?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the ethical movement and sustainable fashion going mainstream – especially in light of Elle’s Sustainable September Issue.

The ethical market is growing. According to the Ethical Consumer Ethical Markets Report 2017, sales of ethical goods and services were valued at £81.3 billion in 2017.

New research carried out by ThoughtWorks has found that 62% of people are concerned with the need to reduce plastic packaging and use materials which are recyclable – which has overtaken the number of people saying price is the main driver for their purchases (57%).

Demand for ethical and sustainable products is on the rise, and the marketplace is getting louder.

Smaller ethical brands are going to have to fight harder to be heard as the niche continues to expand, so how can they ensure they still have a voice?

As the market grows, strong ethics won’t be enough of a selling point. I recently discussed in this article how ethical brand owners need to shift their mindsets and start investing in a solid marketing strategy – but what does a solid marketing strategy look like?

Success lies in your impact story.

For purpose-driven brands, storytelling is a way to bring your unique vision and values to life.

You need your customers to buy-in to what you do – to inspire them to take action and champion your cause.

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication. As children, it’s how we start to understand the world and throughout our lives, it’s how we connect, make friends and build relationships. That’s what marketing is all about.

When you construct a compelling story around the values you hold and the impact you want to make, you connect with customers, attract them to your cause and make sales in an authentic way.

But you need to be confident about owning and telling your story.

One of the most common insecurities I see when working with ethical business owners is wanting to seem bigger than they are – using “we” and “us” in their marketing copy and putting out posts on social media that make them look like a larger company, when they’re actually a solopreneur or small team.

Did you know that more personal posts, and ones that show the business owner’s face, generally get higher engagement? People want to work with and buy from people they know, like and trust.

Public trust in corporations is at an all time low, so by hiding behind your brand you might be doing more harm than good.

Don’t be afraid to be human. Put a face to the brand and tell your story in an open and honest way – it’ll built connection and encourage people to follow and support your journey in a way they wouldn’t with a faceless corporation.

If the market is growing and the big brands are starting to enter the space, don’t try to compete on size. Embrace that you’re a small, independent brand with a compelling story to tell and focus on building connections in an authentic, human way.

As a values driven brand your purpose and impact is the strongest way to show what you stand for and attract like-minded customers.

With the right strategy, you can turn your impact story into a competitive advantage that helps you stand out from the crowd.

What’s your brand story?

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