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July 25, 2023

Green Washing – Suspicions of Sustainability in Marketing

Have you ever wondered how to get your audience to trust your sustainability messaging? 

In today's world, sustainability has become more than just a buzzword – it has become a critical aspect of consumer consciousness.

As an ever-increasing number of brands and businesses try to take advantage of the growing sustainability market, some are making a lot of claims without backing them up with action! This has led to rising scepticism of sustainability messaging. 

In this blog, we explore the reasons behind these suspicions and how your business can avoid them. We discuss the significance of having a coherent and authentic sustainable message, delving into how you can leverage your investment in sustainability through effective marketing. 

The Rise of Suspicions

As sustainability has gained mainstream attention, doubts surrounding the credibility of companies' claims have also grown…

Consumers have become increasingly savvy and are quick to identify inconsistencies and insincerity. 

This heightened awareness has given rise to understandable suspicions of any marketing claims when it comes to sustainability. Now more than ever, organisations in every industry need to be conscious, informed and strategic about their brand positioning to avoid damaging their reputations.  

The root of much of the scepticism comes from instances of greenwashing. Whether accidental or intentional, greenwashing occurs when businesses mislead consumers by exaggerating their environmental efforts or making false claims. Such practices erode trust and make consumers suspicious of all messaging. 

Greenwashing doesn't just damage a company's reputation – it can undermine the entire sustainability movement. High-profile greenwashing cases involving recognisable brands and 'ethically' focused companies have had a knock-on impact on consumer perceptions.  

This means brands have to work harder, take more steps and provide even more tangible proof of their sustainability to gain customers' trust. 

Ultimately, trust is a core factor in any brand's future success and can only be achieved with effective marketing. 

So – how can your brand build trust? 

Transparency - The Power Of a Coherent Message

Crafting a clear, coherent and honest message is essential when marketing sustainability. 

By focusing on a specific aspect of sustainability that aligns with your company's core values and operations, you can demonstrate your commitment to making a genuine difference. 

Sustainability can be tricky to grasp, and something that may seem obvious to you may confuse your target audience. That's why educating your consumers about the wider issues and the specific impact of your product, service or initiatives is essential.

A clear and consistent sustainability message establishes credibility, making it easier for consumers to connect with a company's efforts. By providing your audience with informed, expert opinions, you can build understanding and trust in your business.  

Staying focused allows companies to showcase their authenticity and avoid diluting or overinflating their sustainability narrative. If managed correctly, these narratives can not only empower your brand's future but also add value to your brand's identity. 

Authenticity - Align Actions With Messaging

Consumers are no longer satisfied with lip service; they need tangible evidence!

When it comes to sustainability, companies must ensure their actions match their messaging. One of the biggest mistakes we see in sustainability is over-promising and under-delivering – and customers can spot this greenwashing a mile off. 

Authenticity in sustainability marketing is achieved when the company's actions and messaging are in harmony and are readily visible to consumers – allowing you to build trust as a sustainable brand. 

If a brand's actions do not align with its messaging, it will inevitably fuel distrust and suspicions. Ultimately, this will cause reputational damage as sustainably conscious customers continue to seek out brands that are serious about their sustainability. 

But don't worry, we can help you! 

One Nine Nine Marketing Agency

With years of experience in the sustainability sector, our agency has honed its expertise in writing about all types of sustainability, ranging from controversial topics such as palm and silicone to natural disinfectants – we've covered it all!

We always conduct thorough research to effectively challenge, debunk and critically examine prevailing opinions and established mainstream narratives. 

Our mission is to empower our clients to market their sustainable journey truthfully, effectively and cohesively. We recognise that the path to sustainability can be challenging. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to guiding our clients through this process, as we strive for a better and greener planet for all. 

Together, let's unlock your sustainable brand's potential and positively impact the world!

Get in Touch

To find out more about who we are and what we do, please get in touch with our team at 01138444111 or email us at

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