Yasmine Grignard is on a mission to build better brands for a better world. She’s a world traveler, eco-friendly consumer, and marketing consultant for impactful brands. Alex caught up with Yasmine to find out how to best market socially conscious brands in 2021.
You specifically work with conscious companies that are having a positive impact on their customers and the Earth. How did you first get interested in the socially conscious business space?
There are a couple things that got me interested. The first was working for PI, a yoga clothing company. Their mission is to empower women of all body sizes and looks to practice yoga, and they also donate back to sea turtle conservation. I worked with the owner very closely for about 3 years. That made me realize how companies can make a difference if they choose to. You can be profitable and still make a positive social difference. The other thing is just on a personal level – trying to be more sustainable myself and living a more conscious lifestyle. It aligned my own lifestyle with the work that I do. I’ve found that I’m not bored in my work when I believe in the company. It’s hard to be creative for a company if I don’t align with it!
What’s a company or project you worked on that you really enjoyed?
I’m working with Sell Sage, a brand that sells eco-friendly tableware like bowls and cutlery. They’re launching new products that help people transition smoothly to sustainable living. It’s cool because they show that you don’t have to make a huge 360-degree life change to become more eco-conscious, you can just start small by swapping a normal disposable fork for these compostable forks or select natural soaps. I like helping bring awareness to this and educating consumers. I do all their social media and write their blogs, so my work is easier because I’m passionate about this space.
You help companies with branding, marketing, and communicating. What’s your insight on marketing today?
I want to point out the fact that there is traditional marketing and conscious marketing. Some brands that are mission-driven or socially conscious don’t do conscious marketing, and that hurts them. As a socially conscious brand, you have to align your marketing with your mission. So, for example, if part of your mission is to make the world greener and less wasteful, then your marketing goal can’t be to push products and sales no matter what. You should be understanding your customer and helping them choose your eco-friendlier product, not just pushing products at them. I think that brands need to get better at conscious marketing. It’s good to help consumers replace a prior need with your more eco-friendly alternative, but don’t create a brand new need for consumers, because that tends to be wasteful.
How can a socially conscious brand best use social media today?
First, be aware of the people that you are represented in your pictures. Is it diverse, is it empowering, or is it all photoshopped and unrealistic? Instagram is a very visual social media platform so what you’re sharing visually should be aligned with your values.
Companies should also be more authentic and imperfect. Like – showing the challenges they’re facing instead of just showing off. They don’t have to only show their highlight reel and pretend that life is so easy. There’s a lot of messages on social media that make people unconsciously insecure and depressed. We can solve the issues with social media by using it as a tool for sharing our authentic, imperfect selves.
Also, make sure you only collaborate with other people or brands who align with your mission. Doing collaborations with anyone and everyone may get you followers but if they’re not the right followers, it won’t strengthen your brand or bottom line.
You mention in your blog that companies should show the people behind-the-scenes and be vulnerable/authentic. Are companies being too professional on social media today?
I don’t think it’s too professional, I think they’re just only showing the positive. When you’re vulnerable and authentic, you also have to show the struggles and challenges. I wouldn’t advise showing every challenge you’re going through, but once you’ve overcome a challenge and learned from it, I would advise posting about it. I know there are businesses that are trying to do eco-friendly packaging but are struggling to find good options or manufacturers. Customers would like to see that part of the business and this can start the two-way conversation that leads to more trust between your brand and the customers. If you show this side, people will be more forgiving when your company makes a mistake, too.
Which social media platform should companies really dive into right now?
I’m more into Instagram and Pinterest because it’s visual. I would just advise using the platform that you enjoy the most because if you hate making videos and force yourself to start using TikTok, you’ll create bad content.
Where is the best place for a company to share its mission and beliefs?
I personally always check the “About” page on the website. Also blogs and social media. On social media, you can share things that support your mission, or share news about it. Another place to share it is in the packaging if you sell a physical product.
Which socially conscious brand is doing a really good job at branding/marketing/communicating?
Girlfriend Collective shows great inclusivity and diversity which I really like. Conscious Step is another good one because each sock design supports a different mission so consumers really understand how they’re making an impact.
What services can you provide to businesses and how can they contact you?
I do marketing strategy. You want to have a long-term marketing strategy, so I create a one-year or six-month strategy. I do the branding, like setting the foundation and the steps to take so that the company can walk the talk. Especially with mission-driven brands, I will figure out how they can support that mission (organizations they can donate to or ways the employees can volunteer). I also do the content creation like blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. And lastly, I do design work.
Finally, is there something that you’re looking forward to in 2021?
I hope consumers keep supporting small businesses and keep understanding that they can make a difference with their purchases! Also, I see statistics that conscious businesses are growing in popularity. Seeing how that movement keeps growing is exciting!
Thank you for the insight, Yasmine! Interested in socially conscious brands? Discover and shop the best of them on Choobs.