Never has there been a more exciting time to start investing in transforming your small business to an eco-friendlier model than in 2021! You may have noticed more news from the Biden/Harris administration committing to advancing efforts to combat the climate crisis as well as the explosion of sponsored posts advertising eco-friendly products. This is no coincidence.
The world’s top companies and municipalities have recently announced their “environmental commitment,” which is now a major selling point as consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about their individual contributions to the decline of our natural environment.
Going green strategies are on the rise, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Eco-friendly businesses are rapidly becoming popular.
What Is Green Marketing?
Green marketing is the way you promote your products or services based on their environmental benefits. Your products or services may be environmentally friendly in themselves or produced in an environmentally friendly way. Either way, your customers should know about that. Green marketing has other names, such as eco-marketing and environmental marketing.
Nowadays, many companies are promoting their products or services in a way that showcases their eco-friendliness to gain a competitive advantage in their market. And there is new consumer data to back up this approach.
What Can You Include in Your Green Marketing Plan?
Green marketing is typically practiced by companies that are committed to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. They recognize they can make their products more attractive to consumers while also reducing expenses in packaging, transportation, energy efficiency, water usage and more. They spread this branding across their digital platforms — websites, labels, social media.
While you can use these green marketing strategies to promote your sustainability efforts, remember that your green marketing should always communicate the truth. This might seem obvious, but there are many companies that get it wrong. Green marketing is not only about giving the appearance you are an eco-friendly business. Some irresponsible marketers will slap a recycling logo on their packaging or vaguely commit to “going green” with no real impact. This is known as ”greenwashing.” You want to avoid that at all costs.
As COVID-19 reveals real environmental concerns, you might as well start getting used to the idea that going green is here to stay, and the green movement will change directions as time goes on. This will create opportunities for new products and new businesses to enter the market. Green innovation is the new gold mine.
Sustainability has reached a tipping point, and it is important to your consumers.
As you look for ways to improve your environmental footprint, think about these incredible findings from a survey done in 2020 by IBM and the National Retail Federation:
- Did you know that six in 10 consumers are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact? How does this play into your current product or service offerings?
- Did you know that seven in 10 consumers would pay a premium of 35%, on average, for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible? How does this play in your current pricing model? Are you sure you are charging enough?
- And finally, did you know that eight in 10 consumers think sustainability is important for them? That is just about everyone. Are you sure you are letting them know this is important to your small business, too
As a basic strategy to communicate your brand’s commitment to sustainability, try to publicly commit to a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely mission that benefits our environment.
- Develop and utilize strict brand guidelines that reflect your company’s mission.
- Regularly share relevant information, progress and behind-the-scenes updates on social media and through digital marketing campaigns.
- Encourage an ethical and sustainable culture for your employees and customers.
- Imprinting eco-friendly labels and endorsements on your packaging is another ideal way to let people know about your commitment to the cause.
Now you are ready to start working on your green marketing plan. By doing this work, you are improving your credibility as a green business and opening yourself to new market opportunities. Your business will have a competitive edge by going green, while making room for more innovation for you to grow. This will lead to more profits and a healthy environment. How is your small business committing a greener, cleaner model?
EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.
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