Top 8 Ways to Master Green Marketing
What is green marketing?
Sustainable marketing or green marketing is a practice that emphasizes the environmental benefits of a product or service, which also reflects the values of the brand.
“Overall, our goal is to advocate for the ultimate mission,” said Matt Tutt, a digital marketing expert focused on ethical, green, and sustainable businesses. “For example, it could be reducing the use of fossil fuels or switching to greener energy sources.”
This means that sustainable marketing is a major shift from traditional marketing, which focuses on revenue and profit.
But the definition of sustainability is changing. Green business profitability expert Shel Horowitz points out that brands should eventually strive to move beyond sustainability and towards “regenerative”, which he defines as taking steps to actively make the world a better place, such as “developing and marketing [targets] hunger, poverty, racism, other types of otherness, catastrophic climate change and even peace.”
A study shows that nearly half of consumers now believe that the definition of sustainability includes social and economic factors.
Why is green marketing important?
In addition to environmental benefits, sustainable marketing is important because it helps brands connect with consumers who are increasingly environmentally and socially conscious, said Roger Huang, head of growth operations at talent development platform Springboard.
“Sustainability is a macro trend in 2022, with marketing playing an important role,” added Matt Lally, founder of consultancy MattyAds. “Sustainability plays a big role in a client’s internal value system, They embrace it with greater brand loyalty and less price sensitivity.”
This is not just an opinion. The aforementioned research shows that each generation of consumers considers sustainability a more important factor than product branding when it comes to purchasing.
Additionally, Facebook found that posts containing sustainability-related hashtags had a 4.2x increase in interactions per post compared to other posts by CPG brands, while posts with eco-related hashtags had a 10.8x increase in engagements per post times.
5 of the greenest brands to inspire you
While there are now many examples of brands, some of them stand out in cause-based marketing:
The Body Shop
Cosmetics retailer The Body Shop has advocated for ending animal testing since 1989, notes Scott McKinney, marketing director at financial literacy website Debt Bombshell.
Sustainable Brands – Body Shops Against Animal Testing
Zaeem Chaudhary, an architectural draftsman at engineering firm AC Design Solutions, agreed, noting domestic violence and HIV/AIDS as two of the many other causes the retailer has supported over the years.
Meanwhile, furniture retailer IKEA has pledged to be climate-friendly by 2030. This means that IKEA will not only achieve net zero carbon emissions but will remove additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Sustainable Marketing – IKEA
“They launched the ‘Sustainable Living at Home’ product line after the world invested heavily in wind turbines and solar panels,” Tutt said. “By combining these two things, they can help position themselves to have green energy and sustainability at the heart of their offerings.”
Likewise, toy maker Lego wants to use sustainable materials for all core products by 2030, and use renewable or recycled materials for all packaging by 2025.
“This form of marketing provides a company with a unique selling proposition, and customers are willing to walk with the company and hold it accountable until it achieves its sustainability goals,” said Doug Pierce, chief marketing consultant at analytics platform Sigma Computing. Commitment to sustainability, customers are willing to pay more for LEGO products and will remain loyal to the company.”
Sustainability Marketing – LEGO Sustainable Materials Page
The brand also has a replay program that allows customers to donate used blocks to children in need. Stephen Light, chief marketing officer at retailer Nolah Mattress, points out that this helps reduce waste in landfills.
“It’s very smart to put so much effort into the implementation of sustainable practices when you consider that their products are traditionally made of plastic – they don’t ignore the potential negative impact of their products, they It’s better for the planet as a whole to use it to define what they’re fighting for to achieve it,” he added.
“They provide targets and regular updates on sustainable materials and packaging, providing the transparency that is critical to strong sustainable marketing.”
Noting that “it feels like sustainability is at the heart of everything they do,” Tutt points to outdoor apparel brand Patagonia as another example.
“They’re trying to build a community that loves and cares about the outdoors, and not just exists to sell clothing,” he said. “Their social feeds are full of exciting, stunning wildlife and landscapes, images and videos of people hiking and exploring – really putting the environment at the heart of their work.”
A memorable example is the brand’s Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign, which brought attention to consumerism on Black Friday 2011.
Eco Sustainable Brands – Patagonia Don’t Buy This Jacket Campaign Image Credit
“The spirit of Patagonia is to create a product that will endure, thus rejecting the fast-fashion trend that plagues our landfills,” Larry added.
Finally, coffee chain Starbucks recently announced plans to encourage more customers to drink from reusable cups by 2025.
Most Sustainable Brand – Starbucks announces phasing out single-use cups following a long history of sustainability efforts.
“Since the early 2000s, the company has been promoting green and human-friendly sourcing of its products,” said Christiaan Huynen, founder of design firm DesignBro. “In addition, the company has donated millions of dollars to other environmental projects and renewable energy development. Starbucks is also prioritizing sustainable practices to reduce electricity and water waste.”
Most Sustainable Brands – Areas of Focus for Starbucks
How to implement green marketing
Feeling inspired? Here are six ways to incorporate green marketing into your marketing strategy:
Find the right sustainable initiative
You don’t have to be as committed to a noble cause as any of the big companies above. “It can be as simple as donating 1% of your profits to charity, or as complex as putting your business model to work for a specific cause,” says Joe Davis, founder of digital marketing firm Fat joe.
He added that by looking for features that can serve as sustainable marketing, brands can capitalize on the good feeling of a product or service while providing value.
Keep your efforts real
Horowitz points out that these efforts have to be real or you risk a greenwash. Greenwashing refers to the use of vague and misleading tactics to appear sustainable, but not – all in the name of benefiting the business rather than the environment.
Adjust your messaging for different levels of green
“This is just the first step,” he said. “The second step is to reach not only dark green [consumers], but also lazy green, even non-green – they all require different marketing.”
Implement eco-friendly design
First, think about product design – such as how to make your products recyclable or reusable (if they aren’t already). The Starbucks mug is a good example, but there are countless others, like the Coolpaste below.
Davies recommends using less packaging to produce products, while Jeff Mains, CEO of consulting firm Champion Leadership Group, recommends finding environmentally conscious suppliers, manufacturers, and partners.
An example of green marketing is – environmentally friendly design of toothpaste
Sourcing sustainable materials
Then, think about whether you could incorporate more sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, or hemp.
This is one of the most prominent approaches to sustainable marketing, says David Wurst, CEO of digital marketing agency Website.
“These items include shampoos with fewer harmful ingredients that dissolve faster, as well as reusable straws and water bottles,” he added. “Companies can help consumers better understand themselves by offering them alternatives. impact on the environment, thereby gaining traction in the green market.”
Green Marketing Example – Ethics
Ethique is another example of a super sustainable brand.
Another way to ensure your items are sourced sustainably is to make sure your suppliers are ethical and offer their employees a living wage, says David Bitton, chief marketing officer at property management company DoorLoop.
“Furthermore, make sure the materials used to make your products have a low environmental impact, are free of any harmful substances, and are biodegradable,” he added.
- Use plastic-free products and packaging
- Another way is to not use plastic.
“Today, billions of pounds of [plastic] can be found at the confluence of eddies that cover more than 40 percent of the world’s ocean surface,” Wurst said. “Every year, thousands of seabirds, turtles, seals, and other marine life die after being eaten or entangled in plastic.”
For example, if your packaging is single-use plastic, consider using greener alternatives.
Green Marketing – No Plastic Packaging
Brands like Earth Hero allow you to shop for specific values, such as plastic-free packaging.
Kathryn McDavid, CEO of e-commerce company Editor’s Pick, said: “We are committed to sustainable packaging, reducing the use of plastic and other non-compostable packaging materials by replacing them with wood, wool, and straw.”
Fulfillment is another business sector that can benefit from sustainable practices.
“Long-haul shipping can have a large carbon footprint,” said Jason Ball, director of B2B agency Considered Content. “Trucks and planes and other vehicles are major emitters of greenhouse gases.”
Instead, he said companies could ship in bulk to reduce their carbon impact, or they could offer green shipping options at the checkout.
In addition, Davis points out, that companies can offset carbon emissions from their supply chains.
Focus on renewable energy
In addition to the products themselves, businesses can implement environmentally friendly energy practices, such as using solar, wind, hydro, or geothermal energy.
Jamie Opalchuk, CEO of hosting platform HostPapa, said: “Renewable energy access has improved in recent years, and as more countries invest in renewable energy, the market for harvesting renewable energy is likely to grow in the coming decades. internal growth.” Renewable Energy
Dan Close, CEO of Kentucky home buying company We Buy Houses, agrees, noting that renewable energy can reduce production costs while also helping to protect the environment.
Undertake social responsibility
Finally, corporate social responsibility (CSR) enables brands to better communicate to conscious consumers how they can influence positive change. Customers are often willing to pay more when a brand’s identity aligns with their beliefs, says Chris Gadek, vice president of growth at outdoor advertising firm AdQuick.
“For this reason, companies must embrace corporate social responsibility in their brand ethos to gain a competitive advantage,” he said. “However, promoting a business’ CSR program without bragging rights can be tricky. However, with a well-designed social media campaign, you can invite customers to participate in your brand journey and make a positive difference in the world.”
You can even get a third-party certification, such as being a B Corp.
“B Corp Certification is a recognized certification that verifies your brand’s sustainability efforts and having a third party make a sustainability claim is more legitimate for consumers than the brand itself because There’s less bias,” said Calloway Cook, president of the supplement maker Lighting Labs.
- Start your green marketing strategy
- To recap, here are eight ways to implement green marketing:
- Choose the right move
- keep your efforts real
- Adjust your message to different levels of “green” in your audience
- Implement eco-friendly design
- Use plastic-free products and packaging
- Emission reduction
- Use renewable energy
- undertake social responsibility
The sooner you start, the sooner you can be satisfied with saving the planet. Start simple and let the story unfold from there!