Carving A Niche: What Pumpkins, Sustainability, and PR Have In Common

5th November 2020

Halloween is usually a time when everyone gets together to celebrate all things spooky. But with everyone working remotely, we had to get creative. We had a pumpkin carving competition, and then used the flesh in a pumpkin-themed cookoff.

We wanted to use the carved flesh of the pumpkins to cook with because otherwise all that potential food just goes to waste.

Of course, this got us thinking about the environmental impact of Halloween as a whole. We’ve done some research into it, and it turns out there’s a lot.

Pumpkins are synonymous with Halloween, with around £29 million worth of pumpkins being sold in the UK every October. Unsurprisingly, most of these end up as waste: 18,000 tonnes of it.

On top of this, roughly 7 million costumes are thrown away each year, which translates to about two thousand tonnes of plastic. Now that’s scary.

Brands create activity and campaigns around Halloween every year, and sustainability probably isn’t a priority. But this kind of thinking isn’t smart long-term, and brands that don’t focus on sustainability might soon end up as ghosts.

Why Brands Need To Think About Sustainability

We talked about sustainability back in February, and we spoke to some brands who have made tackling food waste core to their business. Although the world has changed just a bit since then, there’s still a lot for brands to take away and apply to the marketing of their products or services and how, as a business, they are demonstrating commitment to delivering lasting impact in the world around them.

Sustainability is becoming more and more important for brands to think about. Beyond being good for the planet, it can be good for your reputation, and your bottom line as increasingly conscious consumers look to align themselves (and their spending) with brands that reflect their own identity and values.

It matters to your audiences

How sustainable (or not) a brand is really does make an impact with your audience, especially if they’re millennial or Gen-Z.

62% of Millennials and Gen-Z prefer sustainable products, and would pay more for them.

If you aren’t thinking about sustainability, chances are these audiences aren’t thinking about you. It’s not enough to just talk about it. Proof of purpose from businesses is more scrutinised than ever as consumer expectation increasingly call for brands to contribute to a greener, healthier, and more resilient future.

It’s good PR

Purpose-driven campaigns can change how brands are perceived, it can expose you to new audiences, and it can help you be known for something important.

If your brand is changing how it does business, instead of just talking about plans for the future, that’s worth showing off.

Brands like Coca-Cola and Nike have had hugely successful campaigns speaking about their sustainability initiatives, and are transparent about what they’re doing, and crucially, where they’re still falling short. This honest approach is a refreshing change from brands trying to pretend they’re perfect, or not saying anything out of fear they aren’t doing enough.

Put simply, we could all be doing more to help the planet. But if your brand is striving to make a difference, a PR campaign could earn you the right kind of exposure and help your audiences feel the change you’re making. Those brands that commit to, and communicate, their lasting impact on the world stand to emerge stronger in turbulent times.

Sustainable business is becoming the norm

Ten years ago, brands that focused on sustainability were ‘doing things differently.’

Now, if you don’t have a sustainability initiative, you’re already behind the times. Brands that don’t go beyond their product or service and focus on higher purpose can’t expect their audience to stay with them: it’s expected that brands step up and do better.

Sustainability can’t just be something to do a one-off campaign about, it needs to be baked into your business model. Brands that align their profits with principles stand to perform better. Purpose has long existed as powerful currency in the battle to secure trust, advocacy and loyalty from the public, and this has only been compounded by Covid.

If you want to start a new marketing campaign to talk about your sustainability initiative, or you’d be interested in learning more about how your brand can market to new audiences through purpose-led marketing and corporate responsibility, get in touch for a chat.