Cleantech companies can improve their communications by improving the way they communicate their impact. This will therefore help them improve their credibility to investors and potential customers. The aim is to succinctly communicate the positive effect the company has on the environment.
How can cleantech companies communicate their impact?
There are a number of ways cleantech companies can improve the way they communicate their impact. These are outlined below in the following tips and give some examples of companies communicating well.
10 tips for cleantech companies to improve the way they communicate impact
1. Visually communicating key benefits and impact
Information floods in from everywhere nowadays. Because people will move on quickly if they can’t understand key ideas and benefits, it is important to get your point across quickly. Cleantech companies can therefore communicate visually their carbon credibility. This means getting the right balance between images and text and not making a website too text heavy.
One company which is doing this well is Technocarbon in France. The company uses animation to show how much more resistant its low carbon composite material is to concrete and steel.
The Global Cleantech 100 is a league table of companies poised to solve some of our biggest challenges over the next few years. It is a good place to look for examples of companies clearly communicating their impact.
Mango Materials, for example, has a clean looking website. It has the news section on the home page. It shows where they are getting press coverage which therefore helps show credibility.
2. Talking about Scope 1,2 and 3 emissions
Cleantech companies can improve the way they communicate their impact by talking about how their own carbon reduction initiatives. They can talk about their own Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. These are listed below:
Scope 1 – All Direct Emissions from the activities of an organisation or under their control. Including fuel combustion on site such as gas boilers, fleet vehicles and air-conditioning leaks.
Scope 2 – Indirect Emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation. Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organisation.
Scope 3 – All Other Indirect Emissions from activities of the organisation. These can be occurring from sources that they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint. They cover emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste and water.
For example, Apple has communicated via a press release that 70 of the company’s existing suppliers have already committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2030. It is also working with suppliers to try and convince governments to put more energy on the grid. In this respect Apple is talking about its Scope 3 emissions.
Companies can consider employees as well as suppliers. They could even stipulate that employees only take public transport to get to work or not putting meat on their expense forms. This is what property developers Igloo Regeneration decided to do. Here all corporate entertaining, workshop catering and even staff expenses must now be vegetarian if staff wish to get their money back on expenses. They received coverage about this on the BBC.
3. Sustainability reporting
Sustainability reports don’t have to be the remit of just the large corporates. Cleantech companies can produce sustainability reports and be transparent with what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.
SMEs can be communicating their sustainability status via reports and could help convince other companies that they could be measuring and improving their carbon footprint as well.
A press release is a good place to communicate sustainability results. This may even help companies attract more talent. Almost three quarters of millennials expect the brands they buy to be environmentally friendly and ethical. This is therefore a good way to show millennials that a company matches their values.
4. Talking about which Sustainable Development Goals they address
Cleantech companies can also talk about which SDGs they address. Mentioning the SDGs help cleantech companies communicate their values and purpose. The SDGs are also goals that many people interested in sustainability know and understand.
5. Communicating to your target audience in language they understand
A common mistake of tech companies is to use jargon and terms that focus solely on features rather than on benefits. Doing some qualitative market research will help companies identify the language customers use. Content can then be written in that language which will resonate better with the audience.
6. Appealing to customer pains
Identifying with customer pain is very important in marketing. Finding out customer pains will help improve communication by identifying at an emotional level with the target audience. Marketing has to either appeal to a pain or a desire.
7. Using case studies
A case study is a great marketing asset to use once prospects have had quite a few touch points with a company. Case studies can be instrumental in helping convert a prospect to being a customer. You can use them in several formats – video, podcasts and in written form.
If customers are prepared to run a joint webinar, these can be very powerful to persuade prospects to convert. Prospects are literally hearing recommendations in real-time which is much more credible and realistic. Alternatively speaking opportunities involving customers can be very effective.
8. Being distinctive
A brand sprint helps companies identify how they can communicate their offering in a way that is different from competitors. As marketing expert Seth Godin says,it is important to be remarkable in your marketing.
9. Using storytelling
Storytelling in marketing communications is becoming popular. Some companies are now changing the About section to Our Story on their websites. This is so they can outline their purpose and goals. A good example of storytelling is on the Farmstand website. Firstly the storytelling makes you want to read on. Secondly, it includes photos and a chronology of events which make the story more interesting. After all, we all love a good story.
10. Using video
Lastly, video is a fantastic way to help communicate impact. This is because it is just more engaging than text and photos combined. It is also good for search engine optimisation. You can use video in sliders at the top of a website or embedded in a website to tell the story of a company or as an explainer video.
It’s important to think of the purpose of the video and whether it could be used elsewhere. For example, could you use some snippets in social media.
For help with a brand sprint to make your marketing communications more impactful, please get in touch.