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Why Brands Need To Add Green Loyalty To Their Strategy

Let's look at why brands need to incorporate sustainability to their loyalty programs and how they can do it

By

Anjali Pillai

4 Min Read

November 07, 2023

We are living in a time where consumer choices are being increasingly influenced by environmental concerns. This is in turn reshaping the loyalty landscape for brands, nudging them toward sustainable directions. Green loyalty, a novel approach to loyalty programs, is gaining prominence and redefining the way companies interact with their customers. In this article, we’ll delve into what green loyalty is all about, its significance for brands, and how various industries can harness its potential.

What is Green Loyalty?

Green loyalty represents a strategic shift within loyalty programs, where brands align their values and operations with environmentally responsible practices, which further enhances the repurchase intention of their customers.  Green loyalty incentivizes customers to not only make repeat purchases but also to support brands that are committed to reducing their environmental impact and fostering positive social change.

 

While traditional loyalty programs often rely on immediate gratification, green loyalty fosters a sense of shared values between brands and consumers, fostering a deeper emotional connection. It nurtures a sense of belonging to a community that is dedicated to preserving the environment. This not only creates more loyal customers but also serves as a catalyst for broader societal change.

Why Green Loyalty Matters for Brands

The Rise of Conscious Consumerism

The 21st century has seen the rise of conscious consumerism, where customers are not only making purchasing decisions based on quality and price but also on the ethical and environmental impact of products and brands. A recent US consumer trends report by Attest shows a 79.3% of consumers surveyed want brands to take a stand and represent a cause, with climate change one of the top issues cited by consumers.

 

Green loyalty programs are also the best way to reach GenZ and millennial shoppers who have shown a higher affinity towards brands that support sustainability. 

 

Impact on Brand Reputation and Improves Brand Advocacy

Recent studies have shown that the “green” image of a brand positively impacts the purchase behaviour of the consumer. Consumers tend to spend more and feel more positively about brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. These customers go on to become brand advocates, spreading the word about the brand, its values, and its commitment to a better planet.

How Industries Can Explore Green Loyalty

A. Retail

 

A couple of years ago popular fashion retail brand H&M went green with its loyalty program. By offering points to its customers that make sustainable choices, H&M was able to demonstrate how fashion and clothing brands can embrace green loyalty. In H&M’s sustainability initiative, customers received points and discounts for bringing their old clothes, choosing climate-smart delivery options, bringing their own shopping bags, and more. 

 

Capillary’s Reward Catalog contains different rewards that best suite your program objectives and consumer preferences. Find our more about it here 

 

Other retail industries like FMCG, and CFP can also embrace green loyalty by adopting:

 

  • sustainable product lines,
  • using eco-friendly packaging, and
  • recycling and upcycling programs. 

 

B. Hospitality

In the hospitality industry, eco-conscious customers are seeking accommodations with green certifications, sustainable dining options, and carbon offset programs. Hotels and resorts that prioritize sustainability are not only attracting more guests but also reducing their ecological footprint.

 

One of the world’s largest chains of independent hotel brands, Global Hotel Alliance took the conscious route and incorporated sustainable initiatives into their loyalty program, demonstrating their commitment to a better world. 

 

By collaborating with local green initiatives or eco-tourism, organizations can amplify the initiative’s effectiveness, drawing eco-conscious travelers and establishing the hotel as a sought-after eco-friendly destination. Here are more ways for hospitality sector to ensure sustainability:

 

  • sourcing local produce
  • rewarding customers for conversation
  • getting certifications that show commitment to sustainability

 

Capillary’s Rewards+ can make this easy for you by enhancing your third party partnerships and rewards. 

C. Airlines

Airlines are also taking to the skies with green loyalty initiatives. Etihad Airlines, among others, serves as a leading example in this space. The national airline of the United Arab Emirates has adopted a range of sustainability initiatives, such as:

  • reducing single-use plastic onboard and
  • partnering with environmental organizations to offset carbon emissions from their flights.

D. Technology

 

Tech-based companies can embrace green loyalty by implementing:

 

  • electronic waste recycling and buyback programs
  • offering energy-efficient products, and
  • committing to renewable energy. 

These actions showcase a dedication to both the environment and customer values.

Apple, a global tech giant, promotes recycling programs where customers can trade in their old devices for credit towards new purchases.

Challenges and Considerations

While green loyalty holds great promise, it also presents brands with a unique set of challenges and considerations like these: 

 

  1. Balancing Green Initiatives with Profitability: One of the primary concerns for businesses venturing into green loyalty is the delicate balance between sustainability and profitability. It can sometimes be challenging foe brands to find the right balance.
  2. Measuring and Tracking Environmental Impact: Brands need to establish clear metrics and methodologies to assess the effectiveness of their sustainability efforts. This includes monitoring factors like carbon emissions reduction, waste reduction, and resource conservation.
  3. Transparent Communication: Brands need to incorporate consistent or clear messaging to assure customers with the brand’s commitment to sustainability and how it is not just a case of “green washing”.
  4. Integration: Integrating your green loyalty program with the current program can lead to technical complexities and higher investments.

 

Conclusion

As customers demand more sustainable products and services, brands must embrace green loyalty to meet these expectations. Green loyalty is not just a buzzword; it’s a paradigm shift that’s here to stay. Brands that fail to recognize the significance of this shift risk losing touch with their increasingly eco-conscious customer base. By embracing green loyalty, companies can not only foster deeper connections with their customers but also contribute to a more sustainable and responsible future. 

 

Capillary Technologies have used the power of innovation and technology to drive several loyalty programs and can help you with the same. Do reach out to our loyalty expert now and take your first step towards a better future.

 

Anjali R Pillai
Anjali Pillai

With a knack for creating engaging content and crafting effective social media campaigns, Anjali wants to make it her mission to leverage the power of content as a strategic marketing tool for businesses. While she is not working, she is either binging movies or writing about them on her blog.

Aauthor Name

Anjali Pillai

With a knack for creating engaging content and crafting effective social media campaigns, Anjali wants to make it her mission to leverage the power of content as a strategic marketing tool for businesses. While she is not working, she is either binging movies or writing about them on her blog.

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