How One UK Retailer Grew Their Business By Adding 'Sustainability' To Their Brand Values

How This UK Retailer Grew Their Business by Adding 'Sustainability' to Their Brand Values

By Cat • 18 October 2021

We love a real-life example here at MindfulCommerce – after all, it's all very well knowing the theory, but when it comes to applying advice out "in the wild," nothing beats a great case study.

That's what we're here to share today: a peek behind the scenes at a British retailer that has truly thrived as a result of including sustainability as a core brand value.

In this article, we'll be exploring how this USP did double duty when it came to helping the business advance - not only appealing to the conscious consumer - but also helping to unlock crucial funding that helped advance their marketing budget.

Meet The Stem

The business in question is The Stem, which offers plant delivery across London – with an eco-friendly twist.

Hop on over to their website and have a quick look around. It's a masterclass in nailing your positioning as a mindful, sustainable brand.

Copy reflects and repeats their mission throughout the store – "plants and gardening for everyone, in a planet-friendly way." They also do a great job of using standout statistics, as eye-catching and impressive points of focus across their main pages.

The Stem

(Incidentally - if you're wondering how you can achieve a similar effect, check out MindfulCommerce Directory members, GreenStory - this is their speciality!)

In addition to hand-delivering across London to keep their carbon footprint down, The Stem also chose their brand colours to enable them to print with vegetable-based inks, and are members of 1% for The Planet. In short - they're rocking a pretty full bingo card when it comes to MindfulCommerce-endorsed best business practices!

How Sustainable Positioning Helped The Stem Access Funding

After being founded in 2019, The Stem had cash in the bank and was doing well. However, they felt they could be growing a little quicker if they had access to an increased budget for their digital advertising.

The idea of VC funding was a little daunting, so instead, they turned to Uncapped, to find a faster and more flexible alternative, which wouldn't dilute ownership of the brand that meant so much to them.

The funding that they were able to access was largely due to Uncapped's interest in their USP - as a sustainable business, they stood out and represented a healthy, growing market. It set them apart from others within the space and gave Uncapped a great reason to back them.

The cash injection they received led to an impressive 494% ROI, leading to a 300% increase in revenue (as Leonardo explains in our Live Training Session 👉🏽 MindfulCommerce Pro members can Catch the replay).

Double Duty: How Sustainable Brand Values Helped The Stem To Bloom

In addition to attracting funding, The Stem's blooming wonderful brand values have also proved incredibly popular with their target audience. They've tapped into a great cross-section of plant and planet lovers, and as a result, their brand-building on social media is especially strong.

Hop over to The Stem's Instagram grid and you'll find lots of great user-generated content, amplifying their message of finding joy in plants and green values, leveraging the hashtag #planthappiness.

The intersection of interest in sustainability and the younger audience demographic courted by The Stem is perfect – a great example of eco-friendly positioning finding a perfect fit in terms of ideal customer profile. While many ecommerce stores now offer access to plants online, by leading with their green credentials, The Stem give shoppers a clear and compelling reason to choose them.

Key Lessons To Take Away From The Stem's Success

  1. If you're looking for funding, then remember to emphasise your commitment to sustainability – it might just be the differentiating factor that your investor needs to make up their minds about running with your business.

  2. Look carefully at your target audience – conscious consumerism is growing across all age ranges but tends to be more pronounced in the younger Millennial and Gen Z demographic, so if you're targeting a younger customer, make sure your eco values are given centre stage.

  3. When doubling down on sustainability, take a belt and braces approach. The Stem's attention to detail is really impressive, and it's clear they've taken a step back to look at their business as a whole when it comes to reducing impact in every way possible, in addition to giving back.

We recently ran a live training session where Uncapped talk all about The Stem and how their sustainability values helped them to boost revenue...

To watch this training replay (and enjoy many others!) join the MindfulCommerce community.