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Green Marketing Examples

Green marketing is an opportunity for your business to do the right thing and be rewarded for it. 

Green Products and Services

Green marketing has two main aspects. The first is that it puts environmental considerations first to create and sell products and services. For example, many people use laundry services and dry cleaners. A green version of a laundromat would use cold water washing, water-efficient machines, gentle detergents, and energy-efficient washer and dryers. Some might even be solar-powered. 

A dry green cleaner would use fewer harsh chemicals that would have less impact on the environment while still getting the job done. They would use less plastic and paper to wrap up the clothes and give customers incentives for bringing back the wire hangers, so they don’t end up in the garbage, and therefore in landfills all over the country.

Green Marketing Methods

Green marketing can also ensure that your marketing efforts are green and have a low impact on the environment. For example, choosing whether to produce your sales materials on paper or digitally can have a huge impact on the environment, as well as on your bottom line.

If you decide you have to have a printed piece, your choice of paper and ink can also significantly impact the environment. Using recycled non-glossy paper and soy ink will make a huge difference compared to a new paper-coated (shiny) paper with chemical-based inks.

If you are selling tangible goods, your choice of packaging will also have a significant impact. Again, paper and ink will affect how recyclable the packaging will be. If you use plastic, choosing recyclable plastic can make all the difference between being repurposed or filling up landfills worldwide.

Daily Decisions

Even the day-to-day decisions in the office as you run your green business can significantly impact the environment. Do your colleagues hit the print button all the time without thinking? Or do you aim for a paperless office with good backup on both hard drives and cloud storage? 

Do you use paper cups and disposable plastic coffee pods? Or mugs and a standard coffee machine with a reusable stainless steel filter? If the latter, do you use the coffee grounds for mulch in your office plants or your garden? 

Which cleaning products do you buy for the office? Bottle after bottle? Or the small containers you use to refill the bottle and add water? Are they green cleaner without harsh chemicals? Or heavy-duty ones that pollute the environment and even cause allergic reactions? 

Green Ethics

Once you enter the realm of green marketing, you will find that it connects with other ethical considerations and personal values. For example, green marketers will often source raw materials or buy wholesale from “fair trade” co-operatives and small businesses. 

As the name suggests, fair trade means that the suppliers, such as coffee farmers, are paid a fair wage for their produce, not forced to live on a poverty-level wage. Coffee, tea, and cocoa are just a few of the items you might have in your office kitchen. Fairtrade clothing, jewelry, and furniture might all be part of your shopping site.

Green is a mindset and certain values you can share with your customers. Green marketing is therefore not just about selling but is a way of life. Becoming more aware of green issues can lead to greater profits once you start putting the planet first. Take a 360-degree look at your entire business and see if green marketing is for you.

How to Promote Your Green Marketing Strategy on Social Media

Once you decide to make your business greener, it will be important to market it to your target audience. One of the best ways to market any new initiative is on social media. 

Announcing that your business is now greener can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, regular customers don’t really like change. On the other hand, up to 90% of US consumers are interested in green issues.

Know the Green Niche

About 20% of the US consumer base is “very green” – that is, it takes green issues extremely seriously. Another 40% can be considered “medium green”; green issues tend to be one of their main considerations when making any purchasing decisions, but it is not the most important one.

However, if you want to be seen as green and establish yourself as a green company, you have to be the real deal and “sell yourself” to the 20% who are truly green. 

This is no easy feat. Fortunately, on social media, people tend to cluster in groups and share their interests. The green niche is a busy one. It also overlaps with other niches that have an ethical or even spiritual dimension. 

For example, people interested in green issues are often also interested in LOHAS, Lifestyles of Health, and Sustainability. This is a holistic way of looking at how they live their lives, from the foods they eat and hobbies they engage into the products they buy, the clothes they wear, and the housewares they purchase for their homes.

People interested in green issues are also often interested in holistic health and are willing to try herbal supplements, organic foods, and healthy activities such as yoga, tai chi, a walking program, etc.

Customer Research

Green people tend to make their purchasing decisions based on careful research about the product’s impact on their environment. Consider how many people have purchased hybrid cars, for example. 

They do detailed research before buying. Many of them go on social media to find out people’s experiences of the green item before making their final purchasing decision. This phenomenon, referred to as social search, can greatly influence your target market before they finally decide to press the button.

A green shopper will ask friends and family and treat social media signals as word-of-mouth advertising in their research. Studies have shown that feedback on social media sites is more trusted than the information given by the manufacturer. Green consumers listen to what their peers tell them rather than what the manufacturers or labels tell them. 

This being the case, it is important to make sure that you pay attention to reputation management and good customer service about all of your products. Social media can be a double-edged sword. It can be a great opportunity for people to share experiences. On the other hand, it can be a tool for anonymous haters or rival companies to try to undermine your business. 

However, if you are sincere and honest about your products and have ethical issues in mind rather than just trying to cash in on the trend, you should soon see an uptake in the green products and services you are offering to this influential and lucrative target customer base.

Your website will be the hub of all your marketing activity, so be sure to have social share buttons on your site or blog so visitors to your site can share on their social media accounts with just a click. In this way, your happy customers will spread the word and create the impression of a clean, green company worth doing business with.

Don't Make These Mistakes with Your Green Marketing

New green marketers make several common mistakes that can cost you big time if you aren’t careful. Some are inadvertent. Others are deliberate and can ruin your brand’s reputation if you get caught. 

  • 1. Not knowing your niche

The green marketing niche is booming, so it is easy to get carried away with the idea of jumping on the bandwagon to ride along the trail to profits. However, it is important to know your market and make sure that your messaging is on point. 

About 20% of US consumers are considered to be “true green” – that is, very keen and knowledgeable about the issue, so you need to win them over if you are going to succeed in tapping into the full 90% of the population who has expressed some interest in buying green products.

  • 2. Not thinking through the full implications 

Your product needs to pass the test with True Greens if you wish to establish a good reputation as a green marketer offering eco-friendly products and services. You also need to demonstrate a green ethos in your company to prove that you are not just paying lip service to green values. 

Some companies have been caught out when extreme greens dig through their trash to find out just how much recycling they are doing or investigate the origins of their raw materials to determine whether or not it is green and fair trade so that no one is exploited. 

  • 3. Not taking into account the intelligence and commitment of this audience

Those who think about green issues usually tend to research the topic and question the products they buy to see if they are green enough. In addition, they worry about fair trade and also LOHAS, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. 

For many green shoppers, it is not just a case of buying a tube of toothpaste. Any purchase is part of an entire focus on holistic living. They consider price and quality, raw materials, where they come from if products are tested on animals, etc. They read labels and do background research, so your product needs to stand up to this intense and intelligent scrutiny if you are to succeed in business.

  • 4. Not getting your labeling right

Green marketers can get carried away with cool slogans and their rhetoric. They also don’t think things through thoroughly because they often don’t know their market well enough – or, in a worst-case scenario, try to trick consumers by presenting themselves as green when they aren’t. 

For example, Clorox boasts greener cleaners, but they still churn out caustic ones by the gallon. A car company might boast about their hybrid vehicles, but a quick internet search reveals that they manufacture ten times more gas-guzzling autos each year.

  • 5. Greenwashing

Misleading consumers about the extent to which your company is green is termed “greenwashing” and comes from the term whitewashing, making something appear cleaner than it is. In this case, companies who greenwash are trying to make their products seem more eco-friendly than they are. But since True Greens can be such intelligent consumers, greenwashing is a bad idea if you value your reputation and profits long term.

These common errors in green marketing can cost you if you make them or trick your target market. Put green ethics above profits, and you should soon have a successful green company with happy customers and a good reputation. 

Green Marketing Examples

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