From Black Friday to Green Friday

Four ways brands can make Black Friday more sustainable

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, synonymous with hefty deals and discounts, are the two largest annual shopping events globally. And, thanks to the pandemic, the increase in e-commerce expects to see the largest Black Friday and Cyber Monday to date.

Research from Australian Retailers Association predicts a record $5.4 billion to be spent over the 4 day shopping period in Australia this year.

While the increased retail spend provides a major boost to the economy, sales made over this period are at reduced prices which often promotes hyper consumption, contributing to a culture of disposability. While we all aim to tread a little lighter on our precious planet, choose to do things a little differently this Black Friday by influencing a positive change. This article suggests four ways for your brand to be more sustainable this Black Friday.

1. Promote sustainable purchase behaviour

What began as an American shopping tradition has taken off globally and continues to grow in popularity year on year and is fast becoming the highlight of the Christmas retail calendar. And while retailers continue to struggle through the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the increase in sales is extremely beneficial for both them and the economy in general. However, since sales made over the 4-day period are at largely reduced prices offered over such a short period, it also creates a sense of urgency resulting in impulse purchases and over-consumption, contributing to a culture of disposability. Brands can do their bit to promote more sustainable purchase behaviour by avoiding the use of urgency marketing such as aggressive calls to action and deceptive marketing such as tricking consumers to purchasing items on Black Friday that do not actually offer a discount.

2. Help your community make conscious choices

With all the marketing hype behind the shopping season, consumers can’t be blamed for buying into the frenzy. However, imagine brands sent out a different message, educating consumers on their impact rather than merely adding to the hype? Consumers would feel more empowered to make better, more sustainable choices. Remind your consumers of your sustainability goals and perhaps educate them further on your products’ lifecycle, carbon footprint or overall environmental impact to improve their awareness and demonstrate why your products are more sustainable than competitors.

3. Introduce sustainable discounting methods

Instead of offering financial discounts over the 4-day period, consider introducing more sustainable discounting methods over the long-term. For example, you could offer consumers discounts for returns of their empty packaging which you could recycle or up-cycle on their behalf, or if you are a food and beverage takeaway brand why not serving prevent single-use packaging by offering consumers a discount when they bring their own crockery? These are two simple ideas that help drive responsible consumption.

4. Donate profits to a good cause

If your brand has sustainability goals in place, why not rather use this time to focus your brand building efforts on communicating your brand’s mission and by donating profits to an affiliated environmental cause. This will boost your brand loyalty and will assist in reaping greater rewards over the long term. And if your brand does not necessarily have an affiliated cause linked to it, you could replace Black Friday with Green Friday, whereby you donate profits towards planting trees, offsetting your products’ carbon emissions, and making a sustainable impact.

By approaching Black Friday mindfully, your brand can assist in driving conscious consumer behaviour and influence a positive change. Is sustainability something your brand is trying to promote? The Brand Foundry has a team trained in business sustainability that can assist in developing marketing strategies to identify and promote your brand’s sustainability story. To learn more about how we can help your brand, contact us here.

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