How to market your environment-friendly business
If you’re unfamiliar with green marketing tactics and strategies, you’re not alone. Most environment-friendly businesses are only just beginning to understand the concept of sustainability marketing.
Here is a very simple and clear definition:
“Green marketing refers to the process of promoting and selling products and services based on their benefit to the environment.”
Although many businesses claim to be eco-friendly, in reality very few seem to practise green marketing.
As a broad guide, it is important to understand that authenticity plays a huge role in the operations of green companies… the entire operations.
Check the following guidelines to determine whether your company is truly able to implement environment-friendly marketing:
- Your products and services are free of toxic materials and ozone-depleting properties
- Your products and services are designed to be reusable over the long term
- Your products are manufactured following environment-friendly guidelines or are produced from recycled materials
- Your products can be recycled
- Your packaging is eco-friendly, biodegradable, made from recycled materials, can be recycled and/or is conservatively used
- Non-green processes of your business don’t use materials in excess of basic requirements
If your brand meets all these requirements, congratulations… you have a genuine green business with the ability to ethically practise green marketing.
Now for the tactics…
There are three fundamental principles your brand needs to adopt in order to execute green marketing successfully:
- Environment-friendly needs to be at the core of your business culture
- Support your community’s green initiative
- Transparency of operations, sourcing and processes
Being green must be a part of your brand identity. Your mission and vision statements should affirm your organisation’s commitment to the environment, while your brand guidelines need to stipulate acceptable practices.
This all boils down to one simple thing: practice what you preach.
Green marketing won’t work unless your organisation is fully committed to the concept and practice of protecting the environment. The last thing you want is a disconnect between what your brand says and what they do. There are so many well-publicised cases of big name brands saying one thing and doing another. This is a major no-no and PR own goal.
Put eco-friendly initiatives at the heart of your company culture and green marketing becomes a natural progression in your brand’s evolution.
Leverage your community support activities
While this isn’t exclusive to environment-friendly companies, community support and interaction is an integral part of green marketing. Being environmentally-friendly begins in your local community.
A big aspect of green marketing involves building goodwill among your target audience. And there are two steps you need to take to establish goodwill for your brand…
Firstly, get your entire company involved in the community. For example:
- Support local charities, community initiatives, environment-friendly programme s, and other community activities.
- Provide incentives for your employees to get involved.
- Have one day each quarter where everyone gets out of the office and participates as a team.
- Provide financial support to causes close to your company’s green and community values.
And secondly: promote your community involvement. For example:
- Take photos, shoot videos, and post them on social media to show your audience that your company practises what it preaches.
- Use charitable donation incentives to encourage sales and target audience interaction. For example; for every dollar of your product that’s sold on Christmas Eve, the brand will donate 5% to a children’s Christmas gift charity.
- Use Facebook live video, Instagram stories, and other live social media during community involvement events.
Green marketing puts serious emphasis on social responsibility. Why? Because businesses need to be able to prove their commitment to environment-friendly causes. Social responsibility in this context is referring to honesty and brand authenticity.
Being transparent is one of the best ways to establish your brand’s authority as a green organisation. Make your green goals and objectives public knowledge and then provide updates once those goals have been reached.