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Conscious Branding: sustainable outdoor marketing items

When it comes to outdoor branding or POS marketing materials, brands share a common goal: to attract pedestrian attention. With fierce competition and little time, the right outdoor branding can make a big difference. To help differentiate your brand, being mindful of the environment and doing things ethically is crucial. That's where conscious branding comes in.

Conscious branding is all about making sure brands use sustainable materials, marketing that serves a bigger purpose, and products that are good for people and the planet. In this article, we'll dive into what conscious branding means and the three main trends to not only be visible but at the same time build a brand outdoors. Everything to keep that competitive edge.

#1 Conscious branding for outdoors

One big trend that clearly affects brands, organizations and people is the deepened seriousness of sustainability and conscious branding . Conscious branding on the one hand relates to the need for more sustainable materials and high-quality products. On the other hand, it means transforming branding and marketing (POS) materials to serve a higher goal. Lets’ look at both with concrete examples.

Sustainable materials and high-quality products. 

Sustainable materials and high-quality products are essential elements of conscious branding. Brands today have a responsibility in making sure all contact points carry the same sustainability standards communicated publicly. Outdoor branding or marketing materials are no different. Luckily, there are more long-term economic benefits to choosing sustainable products, not to mention the direct impact on brand reputation. Many products or sustainable solutions provide short-term benefits as well. 

Dekkers' outdoor LED neon sign in amsterdam near a canal at night

Take, for example, using LEDNeon instead of neon in signage. It's known to lower energy and maintenance while being far more durable, aligning with conscious branding practices. Go for a nostalgic Outdoor LEDNeon signage instead of the original neon. Furthermore, choosing a supplier with a reliable sustainability rating and sustainable transportation options is another way brands can incorporate conscious branding into their outdoor marketing strategies.

Marketing and POS materials with a higher purpose

On the other hand, conscious branding goes a step further in looking at how a promotional item or branded product can actually have a more positive impact on the environment.

The wind-energy fueled branding item: the Wind Brander+ is an innovation of Dekkers which falls into this category. The Wind Brander + is a customizable wind turbine and generator for renewable energy. Brands can win back their initial investment within 3 to 5 years (depending on size and location) while offering customers or their own sites a source of cleaner energy. These installations can be customized with the unique brand design and thus function as a promotional item with a sustainable purpose—an unmissable item for brand builders who wish to embrace conscious branding. 

Dekkers trade marketing item: windmill for outdoor conscious brandingWind-energy powered outdoor branding at Dekkers Headquarters in Eindhoven


These customizable wind turbines come in various sizes, so brands can use them for different functions and offer additional services. For example, a brand that wants visibility in a festival can use a mini-branded wind turbine to charge phones. Other options include more giant branded wind turbines that can provide locations with extra energy. Imagine a beach club with your branded wind turbine providing the greener energy needed to service the day. The brands that choose this road will reap the benefits of positive feedback from customers and consumers alike.

Outdoor trade marketing item powered by wind energy for conscious branding Wind-energy powered outdoor branding: concept ready for the development phase

Not only can wind be used to fuel branded materials and promotional products. The solar-powered pavement stand is another such innovation. On top of the expected flexible design options, the top can be adjusted with solar-powered LEDNeon brand signage. So your brand will shine on those outdoor nights and gain benefits concerning eco-thinking and energy.

To read more about the solar powered pavement stand, click here.

#2 Integrating natural design elements

Green LED neon sign of somersby on brick wall

Not only has sustainable products and solutions risen in importance. The need for green environments and demand for more natural (looking) products has spread simultaneously. With this demand, branded materials and promotional items can capitalize on this trend to boost relevancy and positive associations. Depending on the brand style, different natural materials and nature-inducing ambience can create a more relaxed and green experience for consumers while serving their function as promotional items.

For example, outdoor spots with branded planters (plant boxes) immediately create a more pleasurable environment and your brand will be naturally associated with a more green experience.  The option here stands to use real plants (preferred) or fake ones if maintenance could be an issue. 

solar powered pavement stand for outdoor conscious branding

Not only plant boxes are an option to create a natural ambience. Using (certified) wood for stands and branded signs are accessible for brands who want to create a more raw effect or beach-feeling. 

beach view with sun light and sign

For LED or LEDNeon signs, integrating natural elements like fruit or leaves is a simple yet effective touch to create a refreshing feeling for beverages. This refreshing perception goes a long way for consumers, especially on those hot summer nights.

Kronenbourg sign on a wood table

#3 Branding in service of the customer's experience - multifunctional items

Being in real service of the customer is a global trend. In short, it means finding ways to make the consumer's lives easier and their experience more enjoyable. This trend also extends to branding and promotional items. Finding ways to create branded products that are functional and helpful for the consumer's life will inevitably put brands in a positive light. Brands can build on being perceived as helping the consumer and genuinely thinking about their needs. 

scannable barcode and glass of wine on a tableConcept - QR code branded displays: making outdoor experiences easier

fritz kola bike parking stand as a trade marketing itemBranded outdoor bike racks: functional and associated with consumer's lifestyle

Closing: benefits of a high-quality strategy

If you follow a high-quality strategy, your promotional materials need to mirror these values. Next to being a more efficient and sustainable approach to production, consumers' value for high-quality products has increased. Consumers are also more knowledgeable as they are exposed to many low-quality products, materials, and experiences. They are warier about what is real quality and what is not.

Not to mention, outdoor branding materials and promotional products are even more sensitive to weather conditions (wear-and-tear). So imagine the perception of your brand when a consumer encounters it in a faded, rusty or broken condition. 

Using low-quality solutions at any touchpoint or for any branded product could mean a devaluation of the perception of your brand. Today, it is not worth it looking at environmental impact, logistics costs (related to the global supply chain crisis), and the consumers' perception of low-quality risk.



1. What is a conscious brand?

Conscious branding is an approach to brand building and marketing that prioritises ethical, sustainable and socially responsible practices. It involves aligning a brand's values and actions with the well-being of people, the planet and communities.

trade marketing process from A to Z

Trade marketing product development process - stages brands never miss

This guide will help you to create innovative, high quality and sustainable branding items, and thereby realize the highest possible ROI, all while maintaining optimum quality and sustainability standards.

23 Page white paper - 20 minutes well spent