We’re all concerned about sustainability and environmental issues now more than ever. Air pollution, plastics in the oceans, global warming, and food waste all are among the major threats, making us worry and think of being kinder to the planet we all live in. In support of the environmental health, millions have begun purchasing socially responsible products despite their higher price tags.
Holding on to this trend, companies are now turning to Digital marketing strategies that help to hook such consumers in, addressing their social responsibility, and, thus, influencing their purchasing decisions. This strategy is known as green marketing.
First, let’s dive into what green marketing actually means. Green marketing is theoretically defined as selling products or services by highlighting their environmental benefits. Also known as eco-marketing or environmental marketing to many, consumers often recognize such brands by terms like "organic," "eco-friendly," "recyclable," or "sustainable".
The concept of green marketing first appeared as the after-effect of negative impact caused by us, as human beings, on our planet. Brands demonstrate how they change their missions and practices from revenue-driven to environmentally aware by adapting business processes that have the least impact on the environment as possible.
In the tradition of green marketing, brands launch eco-friendly products or create the corresponding environment around them by using eco-friendly packaging or refuse from it, make products recyclable and reusable, use green energy for product production, design products from recycled materials to reduce waste, choose local selling to reduce transportation energy, and more.
As a part of green marketing, brands also often participate in recycling programs, become more scrupulous about waste disposal practices, donate to different green movements, and don't forget to educate their customers about what they do to protect the environment and why it matters.
In other words, incorporate green into a part of your brand's identity. To make it work, become fully committed to the concept of green marketing in your marketing plan. This includes green design, positioning, pricing, logistics, and disposal. When making environmental consciousness a number one focus of your business, you succeed with both sales and consumer loyalty. In the long term, green brands get more profits, and establish a reputation of being trustworthy and reliable.
Green marketing is not only about promoting a brand, its products, or services with environmental characteristics. It involves brand modification and changes in the manufacturing process. It's about taking a different perspective altogether on marketing, considering the global consequences we have on environmental degradation. It's about a brand's ability to satisfy customer needs with minimum harm to the environment. Given that, a new marketing prototype emerged, with the concept where consumers have an active role in the brands' green initiatives – obtaining sustainable benefits from them.
The examples listed below are socially responsible, considering the long-term environmental impacts of their business practices. They have launched green marketing campaigns to promote sustainable core values. They surpass traditional marketing strategies, educating conscious consumption to people. And, here’s how they do that:
Patagonia contributes to climate change issues, and works on discovering sustainable ways to produce products. At the same time, the brand is honest and transparent with its customers, admitting that it's not entirely green- the shells of coats are made of fossil fuels. But this fact doesn't influence the positive image of the brand, as the community sees its sincere passion for helping our planet.
Patagonia's green marketing strategy and involvement in the Go Green movement is stated in the company's mission. Moreover, it regularly donates millions to initiatives supporting sustainable agricultural practices, protecting endangered species, and restoring forests.
Starbucks has been certified by LEED since 2005, but it has move beyond that by planning to eliminate all plastic straws by 2020 and open 10,000 environment-friendly stores by 2025.
Starbucks tries hard to engage its community in sustainable issues. It uses green materials for producing, packaging, and delivering its product to customers. As part of its Green Store initiative, the brand also plans to reduce waste, and use 30 percent less water and 25 percent less power during its production procedures.
The brand designs disposable coffee cups, is involved in recycling and greenery development, supports farmers and the environmentally sustainable community, and has been working hard on communicating this message to its target audience since years.
The world-renowned clothing manufacturer and retailer, Timberland, uses sustainable stories to introduce its products. As active LOHAS supporters, its clients wouldn't choose the brand if there was no green element in it. After doing a lot of consumer research, the brand knows that on putting two products side-by-side-one from their brand and one from a competitor’s- and if they’re comparable in price and quality, the majority of the time, a customer will choose their product if it’s made with some sort of “green element”.
To develop and implement the corresponding green marketing strategy, the company continues to expand partnerships and test materials for its products. It has established environmental standards (TEPS) across all product categories, and aims at 100 percent organic and renewable material in the near future.
This brand uses many tactics and sources to manage waste and renew energy. Ninety percent of its buildings have solar panels, it uses wind farms to generate energy, and it has planted millions of trees, while sending only 15 percent of waste to landfills.
Ikea has developed a strategy known as People and Planet Positive, encouraging consumers to be environmentally conscious. It manufactures products through eco-friendly practices, which relieves us from the necessity to choose between stylish design and sustainability. Plus, the brand holds many rewards for its green efforts. It is recognized by the Impact Company for showing respect towards human and economic rights, as well as its contribution to the environment through regenerative efforts. And Ikea isn’t going to stop there- it is currently working toward 100 percent renewable energy, and spending a good fortune on its green initiatives as well.
The Body Shop is a brand renowned for its effective green positioning. This brand is approved by the Leaping Bunny, the gold standard for products that aren’t tested on animals. It also supports farmers, defends human rights, initiates health treatments and training events for employees, identifies its values as to protect the planet, and – what's more important – actually lives up to those values.
The Body Shop is known for promoting awareness of domestic violence and AIDS, and it doesn't use demeaning-to-women images in ads. The brand's goal is to develop a new sustainable package for its products, use 10 percent less and 100 percent renewable energy in stores, green building, and much more.
Here are a few other noteworthy green marketing campaigns you might be interested in:
If you’re willing to join green marketing, and show love for our planet, you can focus on brand content to let the world know about your endeavours. The most effective platforms are your website, blog, and appropriate social media utilization.
Promote your eco-friendly marketing to environmentally aware consumers, build an emotional connection with them, and make green efforts a part of your brand's story. Demonstrate to the audience what's in your business, beyond all the revenue- making and marketing attempts.
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Digital Piloto, July 13, 2021
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