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In episode 116 I had a chat with Pete Durant, the Head of Marketing at BAM, a bamboo clothing company. BAM places a big focus on sustainability, and is a climate positive brand. With brand values becoming more and more important to customers, how do you ensure you get these messages across, without overwhelming the key messages about your actual products?
People do care, but they still want a product that does the job its being bought for.
The key is to weave your messaging into the product page and the customer experience. Your sustainability messaging might draw them in to your website, but the product still has to sell itself. Thats always going to be the primary concern for a customer.
16:18 - 21:29 - Biggest Opportunities for D2C Growth - They’ve been a pioneer of natural activewear since 2006, so they’ve been doing this a long time now. Its not a VC backed company, its private. They’re a very mission led company, and this comes across in most of what they do. The founder is very passionate about creating the best activewear for performance, that is also positive for the environment.
A particular big impact on growth has come from product innovation. They continue to develop new products, for different times of the year, they’ve developed circular products which are designed to be sent back and recycled, and this all really contributes not only to having amazing products, but also their mission and brand values.
22:02 - 41:35 - Balancing Brand Values with Product Benefits - The key thing, the really important thing to be aware of, is that customers still need a product that will do the job for them. At the end of the day, they want to buy the activewear because its a great product and they’re going to love it, the sustainability is a secondary benefit. It might be really important to them, but if the product sucks, it doesnt matter how sustainable you are.
You’ve got to go back to the basics of storytelling. Weave your message into the website, the product pages. Make sure people are aware of your values quickly, but that it doesnt overpower the product messaging. Once you’ve then won their attention, thats when you can move on to talk more about your brand values.
Treat is like a movie or a tv show. You release a trailer, maybe some other teaser footage to get peoples interest up, and then they’ll start to search for more info themselves (or scroll down to find it).
42:04 - 51:49 - What Does Sustainability Really Mean? - There is now a Green Claims Code introduced to try to eradicate greenwashing. Basically, you have to be able to back up your claims. If someone complains about your advertising or claims you make on a product, you have to be able to provide the proof and evidence to back it up. BAM works with Green Story, who are an independent company who measure their impact, but there’s no governing body for it right now. Transparency is really important. Your sustainability claims arent going to go down well if people realise its a fraction of your business, and you’re actually heavily involved in some pretty bad stuff.
52:09 - 57:47 - Top Tips For Approaching Sustainability - Appreciate what you’re getting into. It requires proper commitment, investment and innovation. Focus on your why, and make that your truth, and stick with it. Make a promise, and make this a key part of your marketing messaging and your general business strategy. Finally, don’t shame people about their decisions. That approach doesnt really work as it pushes people away, but it just comes across quite hostile and aggressive. Instead focus on educating, and helping others.
57:12 - Who Would Pete Like to Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World?
Bob Mortimer as train guy, bit of a random choice but if you know Bob Mortimer you’ll know why.
Otherwise, just anyone in the sustainable or plant based world who is doing something cool.
1:00:36 - Pete’s Must-Have Ecommerce Tools:
Outlook and office365, Powerpoint etc
Teams for communication remotely
Anything audience data and analytics