What Is Green Marketing?

10th September 2019

What Is Green Marketing?

Fortunately, people are becoming progressively more aware of the damage that is being done to the earth by human activity. This rise in awareness is great news for the planet and also for businesses: there has never been a better time to introduce green initiatives such as green marketing into your business.

The eco-friendly market is booming, with more and more people favouring products and brands that are eco-conscious. And because of this, more companies are taking to green marketing to sell their products.

We’re here to explain what green marketing is and how you can integrate it into your own business.

What is green marketing?

Green marketing refers to selling products based on their environmental impact. This can mean that the product itself is environmentally friendly or that it was produced in an eco-conscious way.

However, it doesn’t just stop at products, it also refers to eco-conscious services and the whole business’s practices in general.

The assumption in green marketing is that eco-friendliness will be considered by buyers as a positive thing and will, therefore, make them more likely to purchase products with sustainable claims.

What are the advantages of green marketing?

There are many green marketing strategies that have proven to be effective, but a company really must be authentic about its sustainability, otherwise, they can be accused of greenwashing, which can have the opposite effect that green marketing is intended to have.

Customers are willing to pay more

It might seem unexpected that people are willing to spend more on a product that is eco-friendly, in comparison to one that is not, but according to Nielsen, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impacts.

For instance, restaurants that advertise local and organic products might appeal more to customers than establishments that don’t openly advertise where they source their ingredients from.

Increased customer loyalty

It has also been proven that customers are more likely to return to a company that supports environmental and social causes because they feel as though they are also supporting a good cause. And as you likely already know, creating a strong base of returning customers is very beneficial to your business.

Here is an example of Lush UK, talking about ocean pollution on their Instagram feed.

How to put green marketing into effect

It’s all very well knowing what green marketing is, but without knowing how to integrate it into your business, it’s not going to be very useful to you. We’ve gathered a list of green marketing strategies that can be used to attract eco-conscious buyers.

1.     Be genuine & work on being greener in all aspects

One of the most important steps in green marketing is being genuine. If your products, services, or business’s practices aren’t eco-conscious, then don’t claim to be as you run the risk of being accused of greenwashing (see below). Instead what you should do is work on making your products, services and business’s practices more eco-conscious.

A green product can be one that has an eco-friendly purpose, for instance, electric cars, or a product that is made with eco-friendly processes and materials.

Considering the high number of people that are more likely to choose an eco-friendly product or service, it is definitely worth making green changes that are genuinely beneficial. This is certainly the most important strategy in green marketing.

2.     Avoid greenwashing

In order for green marketing to be effective, you have to ensure that you are committed to the cause, otherwise your business will be accused of greenwashing.

Greenwashing is when a company misleads consumers into believing they are eco-friendlier than they actually are.

A common example of greenwashing is a company that sells products as ‘natural’ with images of leaves and animals to add to the illusion, when in fact, the product actually contains non-natural ingredients or materials. In this case, it seems to customers that the company has only half-heartedly created an eco-friendly product as a way of deceitful marketing. Customers will not trust companies like this.

As previously mentioned, the best way to avoid greenwashing is to have genuinely green practices in place, so you won’t need to be deceitful to attract eco-conscious customers.

3.    Boast sustainable values throughout your business

As mentioned before, customers appreciate a business that supports a cause and aims to make a difference in the world. Supporting a charity or starting your own social or environmental project is not only a great thing to do in general, but it will also appeal to customers who want to feel that their purchase is making a difference.

And if you are doing something that makes a difference in a positive and eco-conscious way, why not be vocal about it? As long as you’re genuine about it and not doing it just for positive PR, only good should come from it.

This could be as simple as making green changes in your business, for example, having an eco-friendly office demonstrates that you are genuinely committed to being eco-friendly. For some tips on how to do this, see our article Green Changes You Can Make to Support Eco-friendliness In Your Business.

The idea is that the whole business should be authentically green, not just the end product.

4.    Consider green logistics

Creating an eco-friendly product is great, but in order for it to be entirely effective as a green marketing strategy, you must also ensure that all of the logistic activities, such as packaging, have a minimal impact too. After all, an eco-friendly product packaged in non-recyclable plastic defeats the objective, also making your business more likely to be accused of greenwashing.

As well as benefiting the environment, eco-friendly packaging could also have a monetary advantage for your business. Materials that are recyclable can be less expensive than non-recyclable materials. Not only this, but the packaging is a huge factor in a consumer’s decision to buy a product, with 52% of those surveyed by Nielsen saying that they are influenced by packaging when it comes to sustainable products. Ditching plastic could potentially change your business.

It’s also important to consider the way in which you market your product, for example, digital marketing does not create the same amount of waste that traditional marketing might, a factor that might win favour with consumers. It’s best to always consider what would be the eco-friendlier option when it comes to green marketing, otherwise you risk appearing not fully committed to the environmental cause.

Be the good kind of green

It’s clear that there is a public outcry for more eco-friendly businesses, so it’s the perfect time to consider this for your own business.

But we mustn’t forget that the biggest advantage of green marketing is actually going green itself and helping to save the planet, something that becomes more and more important every day.

We hope this article has given you insight into the advantages of green marketing. If you are interested in working with a team of digital experts to help you go digital, contact us here, or take a look at our services here.

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