What is green marketing?
Often known as green marketing or organic marketing, sustainable marketing is a strategy that involves promoting, selling, and distributing goods and services that do not have a significant impact on the environment. The idea behind this approach is to encourage consumers to make more efficient use of goods made with recycled materials or goods that are made with fewer natural resources. Typically, the sustainability marketing process also includes an educational component that helps consumers understand the benefits of buying organic products versus buying similar products that have a long-term negative impact on the planet’s ecology.
This form of green marketing can target niche markets or be used as a vehicle to reach consumers in general. In this regard, there are many strategies aimed at social responsibility and targeting people who prefer organic products.
Examples of such strategies:
- Creation of environmentally friendly products
- Packaging your products in a sustainable way
- Leveraging sustainable business practices
- Promoting the green benefits of existing products
- Using recycled materials in production
- Harnessing green energy
- Reducing production waste
- Using environmentally friendly methods
- Buying or selling locally, reducing transportation
- Reducing packaging
- Making reusable or recyclable products
Who Uses Green Marketing?
Since all product manufacturing is associated with energy consumption and the production of some amount of waste, any company can potentially participate in green improvements and marketing. Many companies engage in environmental marketing based on an assessment of monetary and non-monetary value, while committing their claims to sustainable practices. Here are some of the leaders in green marketing:
- Tesla.The world owes the emergence of electric vehicles to Elon Musk. He was the first to develop a car with electric motors that charge from the electricity grid. Musk launched an initiative to produce electric cars from other car concerns.
- Stella McCartney Fashion House. In the world of fashion, they keep up with eco-trends. Popular designer Stella McCartney is known not only for high-quality and original clothing. The world media calls her one of the most eco-friendly designers. Back in 2013, she introduced a shoe with an easily degradable sole, which is made of APINAT plastic. All lingerie under this brand is made exclusively from organic cotton and recycled metal.
- Starbucks. The world-renowned coffee house always considers the environment and started to use only recycled paper coasters and cup cuffs. This initiative helped to save 78 thousand trees in the first year alone. New cafes and shops are being built with low water and electricity consumption.
- Johnson & Johnson. The company is the second-largest corporate consumer of solar energy in the United States and has been consistently working to reduce industrial waste over the past 20 years.
- Adidas. The brand launched sneakers that are made from recycled plastic found in the ocean. Thus, the company strives to reduce waste by using recycled materials.
For which customers is green marketing effective?
Most surveys show that consumers prefer green products and are willing to pay more for them. However, the fact is that the more expensive organic products have always struggled for market share. In many industries, they only account for 3% of the total consumer market share; in some markets, green marketing often yields better results. This, of course, doesn’t mean that most buyers don’t care about green marketing, but it also means that they also care about other competitive value propositions, including quality, convenience, and cost.
According to IMB’s report, 40% of surveyed shoppers are looking for products and services that match their values. At the same time, 57% of buyers are willing to change their shopping habits in order to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Also 71% of those surveyed indicated that supply chain traceability is very important, so they are willing to pay more for the brands that provide it.
Greenwashing is groundless positioning of a company, product, or service on the market as “green”.
The most common examples of greenwashing are:
- Unsubstantiated statements
- Too general statements
- False claims
- Non-existent markings
An honest manufacturer who is confident in his product and wants to emphasize its environmental qualities, convey them to the consumer, can do two things. Either undergo voluntary environmental certification and receive an opinion from an independent expert, or independently declare the environmental properties of products on the label.
How to apply green marketing strategies
- Get a certificate
There are different certifications for business sustainability. Explore the various certification options and determine which one is available and appropriate for your product. Then submit your application for a certificate. As a result, the confirmation received will help to support your claims that you are in the ecological business.
- Talk about the “green” status
Once a company is certified and became a proven green advocate, it should be announced by blogging, posting on how to be green on social media, adding certifications to your website, and more.
Promoting a product as sustainable will help strengthen the brand and increase the loyalty of environmentally conscious consumers.
- Make sustainability a part of the company’s culture
Otherwise, you risk falling into the trap of green marketing without committing and not proving in practice that you are following what you loudly proclaim. Incorporate environmental practices into the company culture. Every employee needs to know that you want to make things as ecological as possible.
- Support green programs and initiatives
When your company plans to donate to charity or support local programs and initiatives, make sure you choose truly green organizations. This will help build consistent brand positioning and support a cause you care about.
What are the benefits?
- Contributing to sustainability in your country
- Entering a new developing and highly profitable segment of consumers
- Obtaining international certification and simplifying entry into a large international market.
- Expansion of the product range in a promising direction
- A real opportunity to attract foreign partners and investors to highly profitable and popular eco-projects.
- Reduced energy consumption
- Reduced operating and production costs
- Promote product updates and improvements
- Formation of a favorable environmental image for authorities and consumers
- Formation of friendly relations with public organizations and government bodies
Consumer interest in environmental issues is growing all over the world. Evidence from around the world shows that people are concerned about the environment and are changing their behavior. Now is the time for companies, regardless of their size, to rethink the way they do business. As a result, green marketing has emerged and is indicative of a growing market for sustainable and socially responsible products and services.