5 Ways Your Brand can Achieve Circularity in 2021

Here we look at five ways your brand can achieve circularity in 2021.

November 20, 2020

Brands today can finally encourage sustainable practices and behavior with transparent storytelling throughout the product lifecycle. With brands looking to move to a circular business model, the question becomes “how?”

Here are five ways brands can achieve circularity in 2021 by digitalizing their products with Blue Bite.

If you are new to this series you can find Part 1 here: Take, Make, Waste - Why Some Brands Plan for Obsolescence

In Part 2 of this series, Circling in on Circularity, we discussed the emergence of circularity as a solution to a take-make-waste world.

1. Tell Your Product Story Directly to Consumers

Tell Your Story
"Every product has a story to tell if you know how to read it"
- Henry Ford

Tell the story of what makes your product special directly to consumers with product in hand. Providing information into the unique sourcing of materials and the craftsmanship that went into a product adds provenance and maximizes ROI on your investments in quality materials and skilled labor.

2. Add Value through Embedded Content and Services

Add Services

One of the big reasons digitally native products like an iPhone or a Tesla automobile are compelling is that they have the ability to get better with time through over-the-air updates. Now, everyday objects can do the same. Maximize your brand’s content creation investment by embedding content directly into products. When brands include engaging content along with a physical product, consumers stay engaged and loyal.

In addition to providing great content, digital services are another great way to engage consumers and let them know you are there for the long term. Many brands are starting to include wayfinding into product experiences so, for example, a customer can find the nearest water refilling station for their new water bottle. Additional services could include access to support for warranty or repairs.

3. Facilitate Secondary Sales and Reassure Authenticity Along the Way

Protect Your Brand and Enable Secondary Markets

One of the biggest changes in moving from a linear to circular business model is accepting and promoting secondary sales. Instead of relying on third party marketplaces to trade products, brands can now enable their products to facilitate the sale directly, either through consumer-to-consumer interactions or through a brand’s existing retail stores.

In the first scenario, a product can be resold from the current customer to a new customer with the original brand facilitating the sale through the physical product in hand. This type of direct social selling not only forms a community around ownership, but also between all owners and a brand.

In the second scenario, brands can promote their own secondary sales by enabling products to return to a brand via an authorized reseller program. When a current consumer is done with their product and would like to resell it, they can simply interact with the product, learn about the brands reseller policy, and submit the item for resale.

One of the biggest problems to date with secondary markets of luxury or other high-end products is counterfeits. Luckily, products embedded with secure NFC tags powered by Blue Bite include secure product authentication, meaning every customer can verify the authenticity of a product with just a tap. Additionally, brands themselves can authenticate product returns using the same technique.

4. Inform Consumers on Product Use, Care, Return and Recycling Instructions

Add a Digital Label

A big part of circularity is making sure consumers are getting the most out of their purchase and managing a product’s reverse logistics to make sure products do not end up in a landfill.

To ensure consumers get the most out of their products, brands can now inform product best practices, tips and tricks, provide assembly and care instructions, and more through digital experiences powered by Blue Bite. When brands help consumers get the most out of their products, they not only build loyalty, but also maximize the utility of materials.

Next, once a consumer is done with a product, reverse logistics are the best way brands can ensure products do not end up in the landfill. Depending on the product, this may be through secondary sales as previously discussed, or, for others, this may mean informing consumers on how to return a product to store for proper disposal. This dual benefits for brands:

  • Bring consumers back into stores where they can experience new products
  • Recoup materials from existing products for use in new products

5. Gain Insights to Better Understand Consumers and Drive Innovation

Gain Insights

When products are enabled with digital interactivity, they not only engage consumers but also inform brands on product insights throughout its lifecycle. Starting with gray-market diversion, brands can identify objects that were sold through non-authorized channels. Products in-store can unlock retail data silos, creating first-party data into what products are sold where and to whom. Once sold, brands can ask for customer feedback to better understand their needs. Finally, brands can use this information to make informed decisions on future product development.

The ROI of enabling a circular economy is extensive, from helping the environment to creating great consumer experiences to increasing revenue. Those brands who choose to leverage all of the above use cases see the highest returns.  If you are interested in enabling any or all of the circular use cases above, we are here to help you at each step of the way.

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