Consumers of today are more knowledgeable and pickier than ever when it comes to the products they purchase. This is unquestionably accurate when assessing the environmental effect and ethical standards of the businesses they support. The most valued and prosperous businesses in the world are exploring green marketing activities as a result.
Continue reading to find out what green marketing is, to see some examples of it in action, and find out how your company may profit from running ecologically friendly campaigns.
What is green marketing?
The promotion of ecologically friendly products, services, and projects is known as green marketing or environmental marketing. A wide variety of techniques and methods that are favorable to the environment are more particularly referred to as green marketing. Examples of green marketing include:
- Creating eco-friendly products.
- Utilizing environmentally friendly, recycled-materials-based packaging for products.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from production processes.
- Adopting sustainable business practices.
- marketing initiatives highlighting a product's environmental advantages.
- putting the money earned into carbon-offset projects or renewable energy.
With more individuals becoming concerned about environmental concerns, green marketing is growing in popularity. 77% of customers said that a brand's sustainability and environmental responsibility were very essential or very significant factors in their brand selection in 2020.
Due to rising demand, green marketing may be both more expensive and more lucrative than traditional marketing messages and strategies. For instance, locally produced items in North America often cost more than those created abroad employing cheap labor, but because of local supply chains and sourcing, they have a far lower carbon footprint than goods imported from outside. The environmental advantage may be greater for certain customers and business owners than the price difference.
Green marketing and LOHAS consumers
Green marketing is on the increase due to a rising market segment of customers who want to buy green products even if they are more expensive. The Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) demographic refers to these customers. Wikipedia states that:
“[LOHAS] is a demographic that defines a specific market sector associated with sustainable living, “green” environmental activities, and is typically constituted of a more upscale and well-educated population segment.”
LOHAS customers are strong supporters of environmental health and the largest purchasers of environmentally friendly and socially responsible products. They also can persuade other consumers.
With over 100 million LOHAS customers globally, this category implies a brisk market for green marketing efforts centered on environmentally friendly habits and products.
Green marketing strategy
Aside from producing environmentally friendly products, business owners may employ additional strategies to develop a business plan that capitalizes on the benefits of green marketing. A green marketing plan might include the following elements:
- Using eco-friendly or recycled materials for product packaging
- Using renewable energy and sustainable agriculture practices
- Taking steps to offset carbon emissions via investment
- Using eco-friendly paper and inks for print marketing materials
- Skipping printed materials altogether in favor of electronic marketing
- Adopting responsible waste disposal practices
- Seeking official certifications for sustainability
- Using efficient packing and shipping methods
Green companies take a long-term view of their operations, putting the well-being of the earth and future generations ahead of short-term earnings.
What is greenwashing?
Some brands and marketers have sought to profit from customer desire for environmental awareness by applying green marketing principles to products or services that are not inherently green or sustainable. This is referred to as “greenwashing“.
Some popular examples of greenwashing are:
- Using the color green or environmental symbols like leaves or trees on the packaging.
- Employing unregulated terms like “green” or “natural” to describe products.
- Portraying cost-cutting measures as motivated by environmental sustainability.
- Promoting misleading studies or statistics to support an eco-marketing message.
Using greenwashing to falsely portray your items as environmentally responsible is not only deceptive to customers; it can also be harmful to the health of a company. For example, after a 2015 incident involving faked emissions data for its car, Volkswagen's stock price dropped more than 50%—and it took six years to fully recover.
If you want to establish a sustainable brand and use green marketing in your business, make sure your product claims are clear and true.
Green marketing FAQ
Starbucks, Patagonia, IKEA, Seventh Generation, Nike, Unilever, and even IBM are examples of major brands that employ green marketing widely.
The green marketing goal is to emphasize a company's use of eco-friendly or sustainable techniques in its products and business operations.
Green marketing may increase a brand's reputation and awareness among conscientious customers, differentiate it from rivals, and eventually save money by using less wasteful business methods.
The initial expense of sustainability research and development, continuing expenditures of employing eco-friendly materials and production techniques, and hazards associated with fraudulent or misleading advertising around green activities are some of the challenges faced by green marketing.