What Role Sustainability plays in Customer Loyalty

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Firstly, what does Sustainability mean? A fundamental definition is that we achieve sustainability by meeting our needs without risking that future generations cannot meet their own. It is worthwhile to refer to the three pillars of sustainability, namely Economic, Environmental and Social. Our focus will be the pillar concerning the Environment and its Effect on Customer Loyalty. This will the focus here.

On the other hand, Customer Loyalty is a wider known concept. It implies a clear, emotional two-way relationship between a business and its customers. For this reason, Sustainability is one of the most powerful tools for customer engagement. There are numerous statistics on Customer Loyalty. All show the need to achieve this essential value for a business to be a successful one.

Building Customer Loyalty

After determining the meaning of sustainability, and the importance of customer loyalty, it is time to start linking the two. Customer loyalty is all about customer satisfaction. Additionally, it's about positive experiences and the emotional sharing of mutual values. This establishes a bond of trust between the customer and the business. These experiences and mutual values are essential to customer loyalty.

Moreover, it is vitally important also to identify these experiences and values. A few years ago, it was about quality, price, and customer service level. The ever-increasing level of competition, globalization and increased consumer awareness made these insufficient. Customer values increase daily, and consumer awareness of sustainability leads the way. It is vitally important that businesses are aware of these changes.

Harnessing Sustainability to achieve and maintain Customer Loyalty

Sustainability is far from being a simple fad. Climate change is a genuine threat to our planet. Most people are aware of it, glaringly so! More than two-thirds of consumers have sustainability in mind when purchasing products. And almost half of them are even willing to pay more. These facts provide very vital information to consider in this discussion on sustainability.

Furthermore, more than a third of these consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a sustainable product. The younger generation is new to the market. However, statistics clearly show that over 68% of them recently purchased eco-friendly products in the past twelve months. This number will doubtlessly increase as consumers become even more sensitized to the planet's needs.

The Emotional Factor

Does the consumers' newly found sensitivity translate to customer loyalty? The answer is affirmative. Product quality remains top, but 68% of consumers say that sustainable business practices come a close second. A business must engage with its customers on an emotional level to generate loyalty. Sustainability, therefore, encourages consumers to engage emotionally. So, companies must do likewise and broadly reciprocate in kind.

Market projections show that customer experience will surpass product and price as the key differentiator between brands. We can expect that this mutual commitment towards sustainability will establish the common ground on which to build a strong bond of trust. This bond is essential to establishing customer loyalty towards a business. Customer Loyalty will develop once that bond is firmly established.

The Environment and Authenticity

As stated earlier, consumers are more sensitive about the environment. Apart from this sensitivity, consumers are also savvier. They have become more aware of businesses using the environment and pseudo-green credentials to boost their sales. It is essential that companies not only pay lip service to the environment. They should also empower their customers to achieve sustainability. Authenticity is the key.

Empowering Customers to Achieve Sustainability

Companies can assist customers in achieving their own sustainability goals. For example, consumers are committed to a reduction of single-use plastic. Companies can help their customers to reduce their use. And they are likely to benefit as a result. By establishing a common sharing of values, businesses will be laying a foundation for trust. The use of recyclable packaging is another example.

Adopting Sustainability to turn Customers into Brand Advocates

Customers who actively recommend and even promote a company's product are precious. These brand advocates can become valuable assets to a business. Consumers referred to a business by other customers are 3-5 times likelier to buy from that business. Organizations can encourage customers' engagement. They can suggest climate actions or quiz them on environmental and sustainability issues and open lines of communication.

Furthermore, new customers are, in turn, four times more likely to recommend the business to others. A company showing commitment to sustainability is good. Assisting its customers to achieve their sustainability goals is great. This enhances the emotional feeling of trust between business and customer. More consumers are environmentally conscious. Buying from a company with sustainability credentials clearly demonstrates its own values.

Conclusion: Sustainability, Customer Loyalty and the Environment

In conclusion, the link between sustainability and customer loyalty cannot be more apparent. Statistics bear this out. Moreover, companies showing a concrete commitment to sustainability can benefit more. They can look forward to more customers, higher sales, and attracting more investors. This scenario is a three-way win-win situation for all concerned. The businesses, customers, and the environment which is sorely in need.

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