Third-party certification is a display of the quality of your products and your company’s values. It can increase brand awareness, build trust, and demonstrate your company’s commitment to sustainability. Whether you are a small business or large corporation, third-party certification can increase market share, perceived value, and customer loyalty.
Research shows that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a company that supports environmental or social issues, and 88% of consumers said they would be more loyal to a company that supports these issues. The majority of consumers will also choose the product with a positive social or environmental impact. Third-party certification is the best way to demonstrate this commitment.
What are third-party certifications?
Third-party certifications independently verify that a business meets a certain set of criteria. There are hundreds of third-party certifications to choose from, including familiar seals like USDA Organic, Energy Star, Cruelty Free, or Free Trade. The vast selection of certifications to choose from means there is a certification for almost everything.
The key is to choose the certification that will mean the most to your target customers and improve your market reach. Some certifications are very simple to achieve, while others require a substantial investment of time and resources.
A third-party certification is valuable to business because it is:
- Instills consumer confidence
- Results in safer, more reliable products
- Increases acceptance in the marketplace
- Distinguishes manufacturers who achieve certification
- Protects companies in case of liability suits
Here are four reason to get your business third-party certified:
For businesses, value is created through the standard of products, B2B relationships, employee commitment and quality, and positioning as a leader in the field. Third-party certification achieves all of these to increase both perceived and actual value of a company. Here’s how:
For companies in the supply chain, certification will be required for certain B2B transactions. For example, a certified organic manufacturer will not purchase a raw product unless it is also certified organic. The same is true for cruelty free, oeko-tex and most other certifications. For businesses producing raw materials, certification for your target market is essential.
From another perspective, third-party certification attracts employees who value the transparency and commitment that third-party certification brings. Increasing perceived value enables companies to attract talent for greater growth, positioning your business for leadership in the market.
The single most important benefit of third-party certification for business is the trust and perceived value it creates in the target market. If a consumer is committed enough to understand a third-party certification – whether that is USDA Organic, Cruelty Free, Fair Trade, B-Corp, or other certifications – achieving that certification is an important step to win customer loyalty.
Trust is the real currency of the marketplace. Third-party certification builds trust and therefore increases customer loyalty and brand reach. Loyal customers bring more customers, creating brand growth.
For consumers seeking out a specific certification, your third-party certification will resonate with their values and concerns. For these consumers, the third-party certification could guide their purchasing decision.
To maximize the benefit to the bottom line, you will need to understand the importance of specific certifications to your customers and plan how to convey your values and certification in a way that is meaningful to them.
If environmental or social responsibility are important to your company, then third-party certification will demonstrate your values and bring awareness to more consumers. Choosing to get third-party certified will increase awareness of that particular certification.
As a business, your role is not only to sell, but to educate consumers. Participating in third-party certification will promote awareness of those values in the wider market. Getting third-party certification is a way to increase awareness on crucial environmental and social issues while demonstrating your company values.
Putting it All Together
Third-party certifications are becoming more widely understood and sought-out by consumers in nearly every market sector. Earning third-party certification is one of the best ways to establish trust, increase reach, and demonstrate commitment to social and environmental sustainability.
Third-party certification is not only good for trust, but good for your bottom line. Companies with third-party certification enjoy greater employee retention and satisfaction, greater market shares, and greater customer loyalty. Third-party certification is one way to show your commitment to going green. It is good for the environment, good for your customers, and good for your bottom line.