With an environmental crisis upon us, today’s consumers have become more conscious of the environmental impact that they have on the planet. As a result, they are looking for brands that use sustainable practices and are environmentally conscious. To meet this demand, a number of leading global organizations are adopting these marketing initiatives to ensure that consumers have a positive perception of their brands. So what exactly is green marketing?
It consists of several marketing activities, including changes to products, processes, packaging, or even advertising, aimed at ensuring that the product is perceived as safe for the environment.
What is Green Marketing?
The objective of green marketing is to improve brand perception. It ensures that the brand is perceived to have a positive environmental impact. Some of the strategies employed are as follows:
- Making eco-friendly products
- Using packaging that isn’t harmful to the environment or is recyclable
- Reducing the environmental impact of production processes
- Investing in environmentally beneficial initiatives that align with the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Importance of Green Marketing
The threat of global environmental catastrophe is imminent with issues like pollution, biodiversity loss, global warming, forest loss, etc, on the rise. As a result, the level of environmental awareness among consumers is increasing. The buyers of today are willing to spend more to purchase eco-friendly products.
Brands who want to meet the desires of their customers have begun to produce goods that have a positive impact on the environment. Green marketing forces businesses to change every aspect of their supply chain to become more environmentally conscious. When brands set an example for their customers, more people are made aware of the environmental implications of their purchases and have the opportunity to change their purchase behavior.
Features of Green Marketing
Green marketing focuses on selling products and services based on their environmental benefits. Its features include adopting sustainable business practices, creating eco-friendly products, implementing eco-friendly packaging, communicating the environmental benefits of the product, etc. While the costs can be high, they are justified by the rewards organizations can reap from this kind of marketing.
Why Green Marketing is Growing
According to the U.S. National Marketing Institute, 80% of consumers today are engaged by green marketing, with over 17% of them being highly engaged. These individuals constitute a demographic segment known as the lifestyles of health and sustainability (LOHAS).
This is a demographic that believes in sustainable living, supports environmental initiatives, and usually consists of affluent, well-educated individuals. These are generally the heaviest buyers of green products and have the power to sway other consumers as well.
Does Green Marketing Work?
Green marketing can be extremely effective when done correctly. According to LendingTree, an online loan marketplace, 55% of customers surveyed are willing to spend more on eco-friendly products and avoid less environmentally conscious companies. What’s more, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the number of posts on Twitter related to nature and biodiversity loss has increased by 65% since 2016.
Green Marketing Strategies
There are a number of green marketing strategies that can help build an eco-friendly and sustainable brand. Some of these include:
1. Sustainable Design
Sustainable design involves rethinking the design, manufacturing process, or even packaging of your products to ensure the most ethically sourced resources and minimal waste generation.
If you are choosinggreen marketing as a brand strategy, you will have to prove your sincerity by reimagining your brand to account for its new environmental and social responsibility.
3. Green Pricing
Green products are usually more expensive to account for the ethical practices employed in producing them. You will need to provide the specifics to your customers to justify the rise in costs.
4. Green Initiatives
Customers love brands that put their money where their mouth is. If you choose to support the green causes that you care about as a brand through internal or external initiatives, your customers will support you.
Examples of Green Marketing
There are a number of companies engaging in green marketing practices. Here are some examples:
Patagonia is a well-known contributor to climate change initiatives and works on developing more sustainable production processes. It donates huge amounts to initiatives involving sustainable agriculture practices, conservation of endangered species, and reforestation.
Starbucks designs and uses disposable coffee cups, recycles its waste, and supports farmers. It also uses its marketing to communicate these practices to its customers.
Green Marketing Best Practices
If you use green marketing, you need to do it properly. Customers expect absolute sincerity out of brands who pursue this marketing route. Here are some of the best practices:
- Incorporate sustainability into your culture and values
- Apply green policies throughout your production and distribution processes
- Educate your employees on green practices
- Communicate your sustainable vision to customers
- Collaborate with organizations who share your green goals
- Support green initiatives
Companies That Use Green Marketing
Green marketing has become extremely popular around the world. Here are some companies who indulge ingreen marketing:
- The Body Shop
- Coca Cola
It is obvious that green practices are necessary for a future where customers and brands work together to protect our rapidly declining environment. It is an extremely lucrative practice that businesses can employ to be more profitable while supporting a worthy cause. In the future, businesses will be more likely to hire marketers who are familiar with green marketing. Learn more about it by taking up marketing courses on Emeritus today!
By Tanish Pradhan