Small Business News: 14 July 2023

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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This week’s SBN roundup includes the secrets to meme marketing success, and how seaweed is changing the sustainable packaging game.

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Budget-conscious consumers turn to foreign brands

The current cost-of-living crisis is driving consumers to look further afield for deals and discounts. A study by payment provider Worldline1 in six European countries found an increase in the number of people shopping cross-border.  

“Consumers' pursuit of more affordable prices is fuelling cross-border shopping behavior,” the report explained. “Approximately half of the consumers regularly shop outside of their domestic markets, often several times a year. The primary drivers behind this behavior are the better value and product availability.”

The report notes the trend is particularly prominent in Portugal (where 75% of consumers regularly shop cross-border) and the Netherlands (70%), adding that millennials and Gen Z shoppers are at the forefront of the change.

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Want your meme to go viral? Make it niche

Meme marketing. Ever heard of it? According to those in the know, it’s the future of viral marketing – yet many brands are failing to hit the mark with their execution.

Consumer insights agency Canvas8 dived into the use of memes – typically a humorous image, video or piece of text – in recent brand campaigns, and found creating shareable content does not come without its challenges.

“As brands increasingly enter meme marketing territory, some are struggling to read the room as they try to tap into people’s existing culture and behavior on social media platforms,” the agency said2. “At the same time, the viral life cycle of a meme has been reduced from months to days, making it increasingly difficult for brands to navigate.”

So, what’s the secret to success? Canvas8 spoke to Josh Chapdelaine, digital media producer and strategist, for some answers.

“Engaging with people in communities is the most important thing to tap into memetics successfully,” he said3. “As people begin to become more certain with their communities and in their interests, how can brands and corporations and creators begin to appeal to smaller overall numbers, but more highly engaged members of those communities? I think that the more niche, nuanced, focused, and specific that brands, influencers, or corporations can be in their messaging, the less risk they will have.”

Time to get creative!

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Brands can lure consumers with green packaging

How sustainable is your packaging? A recent survey by McKinsey4 found that eco-friendly packaging is not only important to consumers, but many are even prepared to pay more for it – with 4-7% willing to pay a “premium” well above 10%.

Despite this, the report highlights a long-standing gap in consumer knowledge on the issue. “Most US consumers do not have a strong understanding of which packaging types are most sustainable,” the report notes. As a result, “one-third of consumers feel there should be more regulations related to packaging sustainability and view brand owners as the most responsible for propelling packaging sustainability.”

So, what does “sustainable” packaging really mean? From seaweed to mushrooms, our dedicated packaging guide takes a look at some of the more unusual materials being used to innovate the sector.

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Small businesses consider sustainable future

New research has revealed that over a quarter of SMEs have “green intentions” and are thus currently assessing their sustainability goals.

A survey by Aldermore bank5 found that one quarter of SME decision-makers in the UK see sustainability as a key priority over the coming year, with one in five even willing to accept a lower profit margin if it means their business is closer to meeting green standards.

“SMEs represent 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK, so they will be absolutely pivotal in our transition to net zero,” a report spokesperson said. “For businesses that do embrace change, there can be commercial opportunities.”

Feeling inspired to make some eco-positive changes? Discover how reducing waste along your supply chain is the key – you’ll save your business money, too!

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And finally…

With Amazon Prime Day just around the corner, be sure to check out our guide to Product Listing SEO to help your business stand out from the crowd. Happy selling!