When today everyone is trying to shift from conventional methods of marketing, which were not quite environmentally friendly, more and more customers are not only becoming environmentally conscious but also responsible for nature. The term Green Marketing became prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to a study by Unilever, 33% of customers are choosing to buy from brands based on environmental and social impact.
This has resulted in opening up a new domain of marketing as there’s a billion opportunity for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear. This new domain is green marketing. Green marketing is the process of promoting products or services which are eco-friendly. These products or services may be environmentally friendly in themselves or produced in an environmentally friendly way.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) held the first workshop on “Ecological Marketing” in 1975.
The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books on green marketing entitled “Ecological Marketing”.
What is Green Marketing?
Basically, green marketing refers to the process of buying and selling of products and services based on their environmental and social benefits. Such a product or service may be environmentally friendly in itself or produced and/or packaged in an environmentally friendly way. Thus, this domain of marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including:
- Product Modification
- Changes to the production process
- Packaging Changes
- Modifying Advertisings
- Manufactured in a sustainable fashion
- Not containing toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances
- Produced from recycled materials or able to be recycled
- Made from renewable materials
- Not making use of excessive packaging
- Designed to be repairable and not thrown away
One limitation that lies beneath all of the marketing stuff is that green marketing is typically done by companies that really are working around the notion of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Because of this reason more and more industries and corporates are making an effort to implement sustainable and green marketing practices.
The interesting part comes here when customers are becoming socially and environmentally aware about the red alarm that nature gives us every year. It’s high time when people at large levels should realize that every time rules and laws are not going to make situations easy and okay. Businesses are now implementing to demonstrate a high level of social responsibility can increase brand loyalty among socially conscious consumers.
Objectives of Green Marketing
Green Marketing, just like any other form of marketing, touches every aspect of a business, from production to packaging to advertising, and in the end Public Relations (PR). It focuses more on profit through sustainable development. Contrary to one belief, that it just focuses on eco-friendly ways of marketing. The answer is big NO! It just not focuses on sustainable ways of promoting green products, but also works on how to sell these products to earn the most profits.
The key barrier to sustainable business practices, such as green procurement, is the short-term cost. Going green will typically cost more upfront, but generate great rewards in the long run. Although, it’s crystal clear that green marketing carries those potential buyers who will review a product or service’s ‘greenness’ as a base of their buying decision, and this will also benefit our environment.
Best Rules of Green Marketing
- Customers should be aware
- Reassure the buyers
- Transparency about the claims
- Reconsider Pricing
- Customer Participation
Importance of Green Marketing
We are well-versed with the fact that increasing the population and over-production of products have been polluting the natural environment for the last two decades. There is growing interest among people around the world regarding the protection of natural environment. People are getting more concerned about the environment and changing their behavior for the protection of the environment.
Green marketing out there is not only meant for nature but it’s always going to benefit the company in the long run.
1. Access to New Markets
The new culture of buying organic and eco-friendly products has ultimately shifted the focus to the new domain of marketing i.e. green marketing. A completely new market of green consumers who are out there to buy green products than non-green products.
2. Positive Public Image
With the campaign of “Go Green”, can make your customers feel that the company has a responsible outlook towards natural resources. This makes the customer think that since the company is aware of the current scenario, then it also motivates them to adapt with eco-friendly and clean habits. All this results in a good image of the brand in the eyes of existing and prospective customers.
3. Economic Advantages
Going green is like a reduction in waste which equals lower operating costs and more savings, both environmentally and economically. Eco-friendly business equipment and practices such as – low-wattage or LED lights, use of natural lighting, water conservation policies, mandatory recycling and hybrid company vehicles save money on utilities, fuel, and office supplies. This generates instant cash flow.
4. Sustainability and Efficient Use of Resources
Adapting a green and eco-friendly lifestyle is all about sustainability. This sustainability transforms into profits in green sectors with secure futures. Since there is no limit to human needs and demands of resources is reversely proportional to the current availability of resources. Greenmarkets need to facilitate consumers by consuming resources efficiently.
The future-safe markets include biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grids, mobile applications, and water filtration.
5. Competitive Advantage
Going green always adds up your consumer-base, undoubtedly. This factor gives you a competitive advantage among other companies in the same marketing line. This, also, sets an example in front of society, that how eco-marketing can transform society. Because companies that are adopting green marketing techniques gain a more competitive advantage over other companies that are not conscious of such techniques and the environment.
Benefits of Green Marketing
- It ensures sustained long-term growth along with profitability.
- It saves money in the long run, though at first prices might be high.
- It helps the companies market their products and services keeping the environmental aspects in mind.
- Most of the employees also feel proud and responsible to be working for an environmentally responsible company.
3 Great Examples of Green Marketing
The iconic chocolate syrup brand has reframed its brand image to include green marketing ideas as an important ingredient. It is ranked among the top ten environmentally-conscious companies in the U.S.; where it has done more than just following eco-friendly trends. The company which owns a hotel and amusement park in Hershey, PA, has made embracing environmentally-friendly practices-- the main priority – so much so that they’ve set a goal to reduce greenhouse gases from their own missions by 50% by 2025.
The Swedish furniture giant is not only producing reasonably priced and well-built furniture sets with homewares too. IKEA is highly committed to its green initiatives. It has produced the majority of its products using only bio-plastic, which was sourced from the sugarcane industry. This sort of change is expected to save roughly 75,000 barrels of oil a year.
This huge company owns a massive e-waste recycling plant, where enormous shredders and granulators reduce 4 million pounds of computer detritus each month to bite-sized chunks the first step in reclaiming not just steel and plastic but also toxic chemicals like mercury and even some precious metals. The company takes back equipment from any company, and there is no such constraint. In fact, its ow machines are totally recyclable and it did cut the energy consumption by 20%.
Greenwashing is also known as Green Sheen. It becomes curious like, what is it now? It is one such practice when you promote the deceptive perception that the product is green even when it is not. When self-aware customers buy products labeled as eco-friendly, then on that pretext they are being ditched. The point here is, that it’s still harming the environment but here, the company is responsible, who sells products on a false pretext.
Just merely adding the terms ’green’or ‘eco-friendly’ doesn’t make it one. Using manipulative texts or imagery in the communication messages which give a hint to environmental friendliness could be greenwashing too.
Here’s a bit of strict advice not to use greenwashing or promote your product as environmentally friendly when they’re not because that will not only hamper your consumers’ trust but could also lead you to pay fines in the consumer court. There have been numerous business casualties that have made half-hearted attempts to embrace a green culture, only to crash and burn in the process.
The takeaway from the complete guide of Green Marketing can be that when this domain of marketing is practicing the implementation of products and services on the pretext of being eco-friendliness. Many companies have chosen to highlight how products are manufacture until the end process of PR.
Effective green marketing requires not only the ability to communicate a green message, but also the ability to research, analyze, plan, and coordinate the diverse components of that message in a profit-driven business environment. A good marketing program can equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to accomplish these tasks.