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‘Inspyre’ your customers: Building brand loyalty with purpose-driven packaging materials

Purpose-driven consumers have emerged as a growing segment within the retail business model. Now, more than ever, products need to serve their primary, intended purpose, while also contributing to a greater mission.

The holidays are upon us, and consumers have built up an appetite for more than just a green bean casserole, or a frosty glass of egg nog. Gift giving is becoming both tangible and intangible.

Purpose-driven consumers have emerged as a growing segment within the retail business model. Now, more than ever, products need to serve their primary, intended purpose, while also contributing to a greater mission.

These newly minted customer needs have underscored the importance of cause-based marketing in winning repeat business from consumers, who are zeroing in on a company’s environmental sustainability, charitable contributions and societal impact.

While sustainable and charitable shopping isn’t exactly new, with TOMS® Shoes blazing the trail back in 2014, the trend is continuing to pick up steam, as ecommerce giants get into the mix. Zappos recently launched its “Goods for Good” platform, while Warby Parker offers a similar “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program. And the list goes on and on.

It’s no surprise that these initiatives and re-calibrated efforts are catching on. Companies perceived as having a highly positive impact on people’s lives have grown brand value 2.5 times faster than those perceived as having a minimal impact.

Packaging materials may seem like an unlikely component in cause-based marketing, but for savvy companies, they too represent an opportunity to contribute to a greater purpose, and in turn, score big points with this new breed of socially conscious customers.

 

Supporting a worthy cause

In March 2018, Pregis unveiled its Inspyre brand with an initial product offering in the Hybrid Cushioning product category and blue color tint.  Every purchase of this film allows customers who use the material to help provide clean drinking water to vulnerable communities through the Uzima Clean Water Mission. Since launching the Inspyre brand, Pregis has donated a portion of profits to Uzima, whose name means “to be filled and overflowing with life” in Swahili.

Through November of 2019, the Inspyre brand has generated more than $134,000 in charitable contributions to Uzima, enough to bring clean water to more than 40,000 people in communities around the globe. With a strong holiday shopping season, Pregis hopes to achieve its goal of providing clean water to 50,000 people by year’s end.

Uzima says its UZ-1 filters last up to 10 years and remove 99.9 percent of the waterborne bacteria and parasites that kill more than 3.4 million people each year.

 

Spreading the word

Initially, Inspyre hybrid cushioning was available in light blue to signify its connection with Uzima, but due to customer demand, Pregis added pink and black to the Inspyre brand. Online retailers that use Inspyre hybrid cushioning typically include an insert in their parcels explaining the philanthropic cause and the positive impact consumers are making with each purchase—and that kind of messaging resonates with consumers.

According to the Cone Communications 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Survey, 89 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause given similar price and quality, and 86 percent expect companies to address social and environmental issues while seeking to make a profit.

 

Offering function and form

In addition to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of clean water and sanitation for all, Inspyre hybrid cushioning increases brand loyalty in two important ways: showing online retailers’ commitment to important causes and providing a rewarding unboxing experience.

Inspyre hybrid cushioning raises the ‘wow factor’ for consumers accustomed to opening shipments packed with protective materials that are traditionally clear or beige.

These newly minted customer needs have underscored the importance of cause-based marketing in winning repeat business from consumers, who are zeroing in on a company’s environmental sustainability, charitable contributions and societal impact.

With online purchases accounting for an increasing share of overall retail sales, brands are turning to the unboxing experience to replace a valuable point of interaction with their customers – retail store shelves.

In the highly competitive ecommerce marketplace, a disappointing unboxing experience can be the difference between losing and winning a lifelong customer. For every bad unboxing experience, it takes ten good ones to make up for it.

The message for retailers is clear: By incorporating colors and other unique aesthetics into packaging materials, companies can underscore their worthy causes, protect the environment and create a delightful unboxing experience for customers, which in the end, can have a positive impact on their bottom line and people’s lives.

  

 

To learn more about the Pregis Inspyre line of hybrid cushioning (HC), and the Uzima initiative, visit https://www.pregis.com/on-demand-inflatable-air-systems/airspeed-hc-inspyre/. For more info on Pregis’ sustainability initiatives, click here.