How to get customers to pay for environmentally friendly products

In the future, the shoe brands of Nike and Adidas can be eliminated. From the source, we must find a new way.

Founded 4 years ago, Allbirds, a footwear brand from New Zealand, is called “the most environmentally friendly shoe in the world”. All of its material elements are derived from nature and can be traced to pursue sustainability: the upper is made of the best merino wool in New Zealand and eucalyptus in South Africa, the sole is made of sugar cane, and the insole is made of wool and castor oil Yes, shoelaces are made of plastic bottles. Even the shoe box is 90% made from recycled cardboard boxes.

According to Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and expert in sustainable materials technology, among the three pillars of the development of the Allbirds brand, “comfort, design and sustainability”, sustainability is the least one that should not be sold alone.

However, it is an obvious fact that the new generation of consumers are willing to pay for sustainability.

Within 2 years of its founding, Allbirds launched two shoes, and the entire network sold a total of 1 million pairs, meaning one pair was sold every minute. Users include former US President Barack Obama, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, Google founder Larry Page, Apple CEO Tim Cook, etc. .

In addition to environmental protection and sustainability, Allbirds also adopted a minimalist strategy in brand building and product design. Regardless of the product itself or product pricing, there are currently six types of shoes, two kinds of prices: 95 dollars and 115 dollars.

Its small-scale mass production and ability to rapidly iterate according to customer needs are listed as the “most responsive” brand by Internet Queen Mary Mickel.

In order to convey the brand’s “most comfortable shoes” positioning, Allbirds product advertisements are as visually and audibly as possible related to nature. Putting on shoes feels like “walking in the clouds”, the scene of the advertisement shooting is in nature, and the shoes are integrated with the sky, waves, woods and grasslands.

Despite the focus on product sustainability, the sustainability of Allbirds as a commercial brand is still concerned. From the DTC model that only sells online, it starts to expand offline and opens stores around the world. In April 2019, Allbirds landed in China and opened four offline stores by the end of the year.

Whether sustainable brands can gain a foothold in the Chinese market remains to be seen.