Episode 53 – How did ‘plant-based’ get so loaded?

Cara Melzack

Welcome to the Brew Time Podcast. I’m Fiona, your vegan marketing mentor. I’m here to walk you through all the content marketing choices you have so that you can grow your vegan and ethical business.

Show notes

This podcast episode is in collaboration with The Happy Tea Company. Sustainable herbal tea. Grown in Worcestershire with love.

Plant-based or Vegan? 

Do you prefer plant-based or vegan to describe what you do? Which label is best for your business?

As someone whose been vegan for coming up to 20 years, I am most bemused by the divisive conversations about using plant-based versus vegan when it comes to describing vegan.

In this episode, I talk about what plant-based actually means and why that is different to saying you are vegan.

The world is changing and how we engage with clients is changing so the words we use to describe what we do matters. It makes a difference to the kinds of people we want to attract to our business.

However, your values and your conscience are up to you. Your business values are up to you and what you want to communicate. There is no right or wrong answer.

Yet we also need to be careful with the kind of debates that we have in our content when it comes to using vegan or plant-based. What can happen is we start saying that someone is more vegan than the next person. We can put off the kind of people we really want to attract.

Behavioural Change

If you want people to take action and change their behaviour then you need to nudge them slowly towards that place by meeting them where they are and bringing them on the journey.

It’s about talking to people where they are right now rather than where you are right now. You cannot do this when you come from a place that’s in opposition.

Are we doing enough to meet people where they are? And do we make it easy for them to buy?

When it comes to the phrase plant-based, it is perhaps so loaded that we recognise that it’s a marketing device. It has an element of vegan-washing about it which can make it unappealing to some. At the same time, it makes it appealing to others.

When to use plant-based over vegan

The language you use is important when it comes to your messaging. So when you use plant-based over vegan then you send out a different message and therefore attract a different client with a different set of needs and problems.

This comes down to identity and how your customers see themselves as a group. Understand this and you’ll understand the language you need to use to compel people to buy.

Whatever content you put out, you need to reduce friction in this way. You need to make it easy for those who want to buy your products and services to do so.

So in some cases, you’ll want to use vegan over plant-based. It all depends on who you want to sell to and how they identify themselves.

“The foundation you build your content on is your brand story, values and position”

Here’s what you need to do to make sure you’re using the right language in your content:

1. Use the word plant-based if that’s how your audience defines themselves.
2. Use vegan if that’s what your audience wants
3. Build content on the foundations of your brand values
4. Bring your audience on the journey

All the links: 

30 Days of Vegan Contenthttps://indieessentials.co.uk/30-days-of-vegan-content/

Pimp My Content Programmehttps://indieessentials.co.uk/pimp-my-content-programme/

Thursday Brewhttps://brewtime.substack.com/

Book a Virtual Brewhttps://bit.ly/virtualbrew

Happy Tea Company –  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HappyTeaCompany    

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