We’ve all heard and felt the frustrations concerning how everything is becoming digitized. People are attached to their phones, social media dictates who a brand is and the feeling of always being plugged into the digital matrix can be stressful.

On the other hand, brands are held accountable for their actions, people can spread news quicker than ever and the ability to keep in touch with anyone anywhere is kind of cool.

I look at it as the yin and yang of social media.

Are Millennials as Consumers Going to Save the World?

There have been some very interesting behavior patterns that have resulted from consumers having brand information at their fingertips. Especially when it comes to millennials and their expectations when it comes to brands.

Never before has a generation cared so much about a brand’s values, whether or not they are sustainable and where they fit into helping the planet.

Because of this, marketing has changed drastically to keep up. Brands are expected to be transparent, communicative and treat consumers and part of the brand not just an extension.

When it comes to promoting products, increasing brand awareness, and building community, the brands who are succeeding are the ones who embrace sustainability and community in their marketing plan.

Brands are Supposed to Do More Than Generate Profit

Recent research conducted by Havas Worldwide reveals just how much consumers expect a brand to be socially responsible. “Two in three consumers believe that businesses are just as responsible as governments for driving positive social change and 71% believe companies have a responsibility to do more than just generate profit.”

This is huge and explains why a consumer will buy a pair of shoes that they know were made fairly and not in a country where brands can pay lower wages. Fair trade certification, buying local and knowing where your goods come from usually means the products cost more but many consumers tend not to blink at price points if they feel they’re supporting a sustainable brand.

Making sure your company is eco-friendly is one thing, but actually getting the message out there is a whole different game.

A brand’s story is the strongest asset it has and that requires putting time and marketing effort into amplifying and fostering the great experiences of your consumers and ambassadors.

IN-Person Events

Events aren’t practical for all brands but if it’s something you can swing this is the best way to foster media about your brands sustainable initiatives. Think about the photo opportunities influencers will have to share on all of their channels and show them a “behind the scenes” look at your brand.

Create Tons of Sharable Assets

Always be creating sharable assets. Don’t just ask your influencers to write about your brand, give them something worth sharing and talking about to get your story out. From infographics to videos, there are so many amazing assets that coincide with your brand that are just waiting to be created.

Identifying the Perfect Fitting Influencers

Locating influencers who have the same values and initiatives as your brand is a crucial part of the process. When searching for new brand partners, I like pulling list of influencers by a niche that matches the brand and then going through to see if they have mentioned similar initiatives or values that the brand stands for. I use GroupHigh for this but you can also find these fabulous influencers by reading through their post titles and tags.

Humanize, Humanize, Humanize

Humanize everything. I’ve seen more and more brands personalize where each individual product came from that a consumer buys. For example, there is a seafood company who has the name of the fisherman on every piece of seafood they sell. My favorite beauty brand, Lush, has a sticker with the name of the employee who handmade the product. There is a store in Boulder that has pictures of the women in third world countries who handmade each piece of jewelry or art.

Do you have an example to share of brands marketing with sustainability and community? I would love to hear about your story!