A study conducted by IBM and the National Retail Federation found that, in 2020, 70% of North American consumers prefer to partner with eco-friendly businesses. This is a trend that applies worldwide. Green marketing refers to a conscious effort by a business to highlight its commitment to environmental sustainability in its marketing. Here are 5 green marketing tips that should work for your business.
Actively Target the Eco-Conscious Market Segment
The 21st-century consumer is aware of the negative environmental impacts of unsustainable human activities. With this awareness comes the need for action. Many consumers are showing action by spending their income on businesses and brands that share their eco-friendly values.
Successful marketing is all about identifying fast-growing and lucrative market segments and effectively targeting them. Not only is the eco-friendly market growing at an exponential rate, but it is also quite lucrative. Most people whose purchasing decisions are influenced by environmental sustainability tend to be educated and financially comfortable.
Any business that is looking to implement green marketing needs to identify and target the eco-conscious consumer actively. This includes phrasing the marketing message to engage with them directly. Make sure they understand that your values align with theirs.
Walk the Talk
Very few things can break a brand as fast as a false advertising scandal. Customers want to deal with brands that they can trust. Trust is a key asset for any business. And once it erodes, it is tough to recover.
Most entrepreneurs understand how their business can benefit from positioning itself as an eco-ally in today’s market. But, unfortunately, it can be tempting for the green marketing campaigns to overstate or rightly lie about the business’s eco-friendly efforts.
This can backfire spectacularly. In some cases, this might be illegal, leading to unwanted attention from government agencies and other regulators. However, even when such actions are not explicitly illegal, they are morally questionable. When exposed, a company can take a reputation hit that it will never recover from. As a result, customers and other stakeholders tend to steer clear of brands with integrity issues.
Make it Part of your Brand Identity
Effective green marketing is not about a single (or a few) marketing campaign. It’s about completely changing your brand identity. For your business to reap the long-term benefits of green marketing, it should be recognized as THE eco-friendly brand in whatever industry you are involved in.
You have to commit to sustainability across all levels of operations. This includes the products/services offered, the operations involved in the business, and the product packaging. This level of commitment provides a platform for the company to market itself as a sustainable option honestly.
Sustainable Supply and Distribution Chains
When adopting a green brand identity, most businesses fail to factor in the sustainability of their supply and distribution chains. The supply chain includes all processes involved in sourcing inventory, raw materials, and equipment that a business needs. A distribution network refers to the processes involved in delivering products to the market.
Many reputable companies that position themselves as ethical and sustainable have faced scandals involving some of their suppliers and partners. This is particularly important if you have suppliers/partners in jurisdictions with poor environmental protection standards. Unfortunately, there is no way to insulate yourself from the businesses you work with unethical actions.
This is why green marketing involves conducting a sustainability audit on the businesses involved in your supply chain. If they can’t match your eco-friendly values, then your relationship has to be reconsidered. Similarly, raw materials like palm oil, whose production negatively impacts the environment, need to be avoided at all costs.
When it comes to the distribution network, a business should work to limit the carbon emissions of its fleet. This can be achieved by choosing low-emission or hybrid vehicles. Resellers and accredited vendors should also be encouraged to align their sustainability values to yours.
Membership in Green Business Associations
There are green business associations in most industries. These are organizations that exist to support businesses looking to adopt a more sustainable approach. Membership usually includes environmental regulators and eco-friendly advocacy groups.
The benefits of joining such organizations are numerous. For starters, they have the expertise and local knowledge a business needs to implement a sustainable business model. Your business will benefit from the combined experience of the existing members.
Another key benefit is that membership comes with eco-friendly accreditation. YAs a result, your products can be branded as eco-friendly if you achieve the standards set by the organization. This is extremely valuable for your green marketing efforts.
The effectiveness of green marketing depends on your commitment to adopting environmentally sustainable business practices. This includes partnering with eco-friendly businesses in your supply and distribution chains. Green marketing efforts are also improved by a business adopting truthful advertising. Membership in green business associations further improves the effectiveness of green marketing. With the right commitment, your business can attract the lucrative eco-friendly market segment.