A Guide to Eco-Friendly Marketing Strategies
By Marina Turea
Can green marketing make your company successful? It appears that today’s consumer is more attracted to businesses and products that put a strong emphasis on the environment and make it a priority in their business operations. Eco-friendliness is no longer trendy, it is a component of business that can produce a competitive edge that sets your company apart from all others in the marketplace and your industry. But what exactly is an eco-friendly business in the current marketplace and how do you use green marketing strategies to attract customers? That is what this article will explore in greater detail.
What Is A Sustainable Business?
In simple terms, a sustainable business has a business model where environmental sustainability is combined with social responsibility. It is such a driving force in today’s marketplace that the majority of executives of existing corporations feel that a green strategy is now a requirement to remain competitive and successful.
What Is Green Marketing?
Green marketing is a method of promotion where the environmental benefits of the business are the main focus. You achieve this by emphasizing the environmental and societal benefits that result from using the products or services marketed. There has to be verifiable proof that the products and services are eco-friendly to qualify for green marketing.
How To Build Sustainability Into A Business
Consumers believe their choices make a difference. With this in mind, it makes sense that if customers support an eco-friendly brand, it means they believe in helping the company as it works to help the environment.
It also means that consumers supporting the green, sustainable businesses are aiding the green movement. When a business connects to such a vital issue as saving the environment, it becomes an emotional choice of consumers. When companies build an emotional connection with their customers, it results in brand loyalty.
This is the goal of many companies in business today. Customer loyalty spells success.
Why Your Business Should Be Sustainable
There are several reasons to adopt a green approach to business and the marketing of that business.
They include the obvious like actually helping the environment, attracting customers who value eco-friendly products, and setting your business apart from non-green competitors. However, there are other benefits to sustainability that may not be quite as visible in the beginning.
They span the spectrum from being a leader in product demand and business growth, forging lasting partnerships with other sustainable companies, becoming more trusted within the marketplace, and consumers viewing your company as a forward-thinking, progressive brand.
Eco-Friendly Marketing Strategies To Implement This Year
There has been a shift in the business community to address climate change. This is why so many companies have adopted an eco-friendly approach to business. The following five strategies will get your business on the path to sustainability which will bring your products or services the attention they deserve.
Green Marketing Strategy #1 – Expand To Include Green Products
If your company already produces a green product, then you are already ahead of the game. However, if this is not the case, the most logical way to enter the eco-friendly arena is to either create a green version of an existing product, introduce a green product from another source to your inventory, or create a brand new green product.
Green products are those that use eco-friendly materials that you source ethically.
For inspiration, it is a good idea to look around the marketplace to find what other brands are doing to introduce green initiatives into the production of their products. Packaging, production, marketing can all have eco-friendly elements in them to make a product or service green.
Green Marketing Strategy #2 – Stand Up For The Environment
It is all well and good to create a green product to take to market but the best way to get across that your company believes in sustainability is with actions, not words. This means becoming an advocate for the environment.
But how do you do that? There are several ways to put your intentions into play. They include implementing green practices throughout your company, establishing environmental goals and promoting them, advancing the green cause with consistent work in that area, establishing plastic-free initiatives within your company, and supporting locally-grown and sourced products in your market.
You can also show your stance in being green by donating a portion of the profits earned from your green product to an environmentally-friendly charity or cause that you proudly support and promote within your marketing efforts.
Green Marketing Strategy #3 – Change The Packaging of Your Products
Saying you are eco-friendly may not have as much impact as it could if your products are still in plastic wrapping. But that is a lot easier to remedy than you may think.
There are non-plastic alternatives that will help your business create long-lasting partnerships with suppliers who produce sustainable products used for packaging. A good choice is paper packaging made from recycled materials. This type of packaging can sell the point you are making about being an eco-friendly company. Another way to approach this is with something known as naked packaging.
If your product can be sold without a special package to contain it, this is even better. Whatever your choice, the goal should be to not use any type of plastic as they cannot be recycled and the supplier you choose should have the same sustainability goals as your company. This makes the partnership stronger and easier to market to customers.
Green Marketing Strategy #4 – Implement An In-House Recycling Program
It sounds simple and in reality, it is. One of the quickest ways to show your green support is to take care of sustainability where you work.
This can be in the form of a recycling program that not only builds morale and hammers the message home to everyone on the job that the company is eco-friendly, but it reduces the amount of waste your company disposes of. That directly positively impacts the environment. There are other ways to introduce recycling into your business practices. It can be something as logical as ensuring that your products can be recycled, reused, or easy to dispose of once they reach the end of their life.
Technology can take a bigger role in your company by becoming an educational tool where staff, customers, and visitors to your website can learn more about the recycling program your company has implemented. Recycling education may encourage others to follow your lead and that is not just employees. Expect your competitors to be watching what your company is doing and they may also add in-house recycling programs.
Green Marketing Strategy #5 – Promote Green Awareness In All Marketing Efforts
The final eco-friendly marketing tip is to utilize all marketing streams to tell others what your company is doing that is green.
You can make all the moves towards sustainability, but you still have to take the opportunity to get the word out that you are doing it and what you are doing. After all, environmental marketing will inspire business. But how can you do this effectively? Your company’s PR department can issue news releases with details and news about green causes you support, all social media feeds and promotions should have a green slant to them, and forming collaborative green marketing partnerships with other eco-aware businesses to cross-promote online.
The key here is to move away completely from paper-based marketing programs and put those efforts into digital marketing, which happens to be friendly to the environment.
Introducing green marketing brings with it a great deal of responsibility and the need for accountability. It is also something that you can’t just dabble in. Green marketing requires a complete buy-in to be successful from the top of the corporate ladder to the bottom.
Every department has to commit to taking the initiative seriously for your company to truly benefit from the changes that come with sustainability. However, once in place and operational, your business will gain in popularity and your brands will become more recognizable. Eco-friendly products and services attract a great deal of positive action and to truly benefit from this, your company has to implement a green marketing strategy.
Going green is far more than a fad or a trend these days. Today’s marketplace is flooded with environmentally-friendly products and services. The marketplace is as full with customers seeking green alternatives as everyone looks at the importance of saving the environment and slowing down the impact of climate change. You can jump on board quite easily by taking a closer look at your business model and factoring in where sustainability fits into the company playbook.
To stay competitive and to reach a wider customer base, having green products has proven to be the answer. It may take a small tweak or a major overhaul to how your company does business, but studies have shown that green companies are attracting more business because of their green initiatives. That alone should be the incentive to look at saving the environment as a way to save your business.
About the Author
Marina Turea works as a content manager at Digital Authority Partners a San Diego Web Development Agency.