In today’s modern world, more and more customers are becoming conscious of the effects of their choices on dear Mother Earth. With many campaigns about the greenhouse effect, climate change, global warming, extensive production of plastic garbage, deforestation, and the like, people have also become environmentally responsible. According to study by Unilever, a third of consumers now make a conscious effort to buy products coming from brands that follow safe environmental practices. As a result, a new kind of marketing emerged for brands because companies become more transparent about their production habits and make their company’s sustainability credentials clear. This new domain is green marketing, it is used to propel your business to greater heights by capitalizing on this newly formed green awareness of consumers.
What is green marketing?
Green marketing is the method of selling the brand, products, and/ or services of a company by leveraging on their environmental benefits. The color green, in this aspect, refers to the environment. Another term for green marketing is sustainable marketing, environmental marketing, ecological marketing, or Eco-marketing.
Green Marketing vs. Greenwashing
While the growing trend of green marketing is truly noble, with an increase in consumers willing to back up the movement with their hard earned money, the whole concept can be easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous people who want to make gains without putting in the work. To begin with, the public is not stupid, so they tend to research about green claims of companies. If a company happens to be misrepresenting their products as green when they are not, the results are dismal. The clients easily lose faith in the brand and most of their product offerings. Stating that a product or service is green when in fact it is not is called greenwashing. Be careful not to engage in this terrible practice because if you condone this kind of malpractice, it is akin to fraud. No one likes to deal with dishonest merchants and this will lead to your business’ downfall.
What are the Benefits of Green Marketing?
There are two kinds of benefits of green marketing: internal benefits that help the company itself and external benefits that can be reaped by communities. To expound on both ideas, read on below.
Actually, contrary to popular belief, marketing starts even before a company begins the promotion and advertisement of their products or services. Marketing encompasses product development, pricing, and even distribution. After all, businesses don’t craft their products and services without having any idea how to best sell them. Thus, green marketing can help boost company sales, especially in this day and age that people are very environment conscious. They will go for products that are recyclable, organic, made with less harmful chemicals, pesticide free, and the like.
In addition, the whole concept of green marketing has the capability of lowering operation and production costs because they lower energy usage. Typically, these companies seek alternative forms of energy like solar or wind. On top of that, environmentally aware companies look more enticing to potential future employees because people in general would want to belong and be a member of a positive corporate setting that promotes the greater good.
Businesses that are known to use energy efficient utilities, reduces their water consumption, lessen their carbon footprint, utilize recycled materials, generate less waste, and organize community clean up drive generate a ton of positive public relations in their industry, the community, and their direct customers. People feel proud to belong and support this kind of environmentally aware and socially responsible company. By utilizing these noble practices, companies can advertise themselves as a green company and they can put green-friendly logos on their product packaging, on their advertising campaigns, and even their website creating a competitive advantage. As a result, this whole endeavor creates brand loyalty. People prefer to support a good company so as a result, more sales and profits are generated. On top of that, green companies can even qualify to become supplier for government agencies. They can also align themselves with other companies and organizations that support the same cause and follow the same green methods and principles.
Importance Of Green Marketing
Green marketing has the capacity to touch all aspects of the business from planning, production, distribution, and public relations. This involves not only producing eco-friendly products by abiding by good environment practices and procedures, but it involves educating the customers and letting them be more aware. Green marketing is important for a variety of reasons like eliminating being wasteful and advocating for the environment as a whole. Here under are the specific reasons why this green movement matters a great deal:
- Helps avoid making more waste: Green companies prefer to create biodegradable products and packaging. Whatever component cannot be broken down is recycled. They also promote the conservation of water by cutting their consumption of this natural resource. They also reduce the amount of trash that goes into the landfills. Green marketing is not just concerned with putting an eco-friendly face to the public, but they are actually more invested in avoiding waste because they have made the conscious choice to help Mother Earth.
- Creation of great products: Products can be modified and crafted to lessen their adverse impact on the environment. For instance, some companies now use plant-derived ingredients which is even safer for human consumption. Some products have also been made water-soluble so they can disperse safely into the environment.
- Promotes the green advocacy: Companies that create green products do so because they want to be great stewards for their own planet. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they make a profit while doing it. Green marketing paves the way for businesses to capitalize on people who want to pay more to lessen their own wastage, help create a better environment, and also protect the atmosphere. By engaging in green marketing, businesses can inspire others and help promote this environmentally responsible way of life. It is not just selling a product but a lifestyle.
- Changes process and uses better practices: Everyone should be concerned about the environment and the impact of their choices on the planet. Aside from educating consumers, green marketing also encourages other businesses to change their process and use better practices like utilizing natural resources properly from reducing water consumption and finding alternative sources of energy to reduce their carbon footprint. Changing companies’ ways of doing things also include looking for renewable raw materials and finding ways to deliver the product to their clients in a more environment efficient manner.
- Encourage sustainability: With green marketing comes the creation of eco-friendly messages that help the many consumers understand the many green benefits of a certain product. It can also expound on the company’s background and why they have grown to be committed to protecting the environment. Aside from just selling products, it is a way to educate people about the environment, and why they, too, must live more sustainable lifestyles.
Green Marketing Strategies
A company that is honest and is genuinely committed to the environment creates a huge following because consumers feel their sincerity. This can only be made possible by these green marketing strategies:
Green Design: This refers to designing products that are one hundred percent green. The product is authentic and is one hundred percent green from the ground up. No need for greenwashing whatsoever!
Green Positioning: Every single activity that the company does is a reflection of their core values. They cannot claim to be eco-friendly while engaging in unsustainable manufacturing procedures. Companies who are consistent all throughout can be position themselves better.
Green Pricing: This method highlights how a company’s product or service can help clients save key resources. For instance, an automobile corporation produces a more fuel efficient car. This means customers can lower their fossil fuel consumption, lessen their carbon foot print, and invest in something that will not only save them money, but the earth.
Green Logistics: This refers to the green packaging that must accompany the green products and services. This is the first element that consumers see, so if your sustainable product is sold in unsustainable packaging, all your efforts would have been in vain.
Green Disposal: A green marketing strategy considers every aspect of the life cycle of a product including waste disposal. Every step of that way must be sustainable because unsustainable waste disposal practices are harmful not just to the environment but to human health as well.
Trends in Green Marketing
There are several trends driving changes in green marketing. To remain cutting edge, companies must evolve with the changing times. Here under are some trends in green marketing to date:
Standing Out in An Over Saturated Market
The market is over saturated with products and the goal is to remain one step ahead of the pack. As many companies implement sustainable procedures, marketers must discover and find out interesting ways to differentiate and set their brand apart from other green companies. This may all boil down to the quality and performance of the available products themselves.
Social Media is a Game Changer
All businesses capitalize on the popularity of social media apps. Practically everyone has them, and people are compelled to log on and check their social media stats all the time. Marketers must leverage on social media for their sustainable marketing efforts. Consumers love to share niche products that tug at the heartstrings. Crafting quality content that highlights the sustainability efforts and the green advocacy of a company will work create engagement with social media users. Think memes, videos, and hashtags that are like-able and share-able.
A recent trend is the increase of bio-based products available in stores and online. This includes plant based cleaning materials, dinnerware that can be composted made out of corn, or bamboo flooring. Bio-based products are entirely or only partly made of agricultural or plant products.
Creating Meaningful Connections
The focus now is connecting not just with consumers, but also with suppliers and industry experts with the same mindset. The goal is to continue to develop and promote ways to incorporate environmental awareness and sustainability in all business strategies and products.
Green Marketing Business Practices
Green marketing is the practice of pushing for products that are in themselves environment friendly, or they were made using earth friendly manufacturing methods. Some sustainable business practices that are usually highlighted include the following:
- Sustainable methods of manufacturing are followed
- The byproducts have reduced or zero carbon footprint
- There is less or zero pollution of the water
- The company uses recycled ingredients/materials to make their product
- Their products themselves are recyclable
- They are made out of renewable ingredients/materials
- The packaging of the products is Earth-friendly
- The whole operation has less or zero plastic footprint