How to Market Your Brand’s Sustainability Advantage: A Guide to Green Marketing
With the prevalence of global warming, climate change, ocean plastic, and ozone depletion, sustainability has become one of the biggest business trends. Today, more customers want companies to pay special attention to the environment, and businesses must keep up with consumer demand.
Green marketing is a way to achieve that. It can attract environmentally-conscious consumers, address social responsibility, and influence purchase decisions. After all, “green” works—and the marketing strategy behind it should be easy to grasp.
But how can you dive deep into green marketing? What strategies will help you reap the most out of its benefits? This infographic will serve as your guide to green marketing.
What is Green Marketing?
Green Marketing, also called sustainable marketing, is when an enterprise advertises its services and products according to their advantages to the environment. Companies that use green marketing may either have an eco-friendly supply chain or can directly address environmental issues themselves.
Specifically, products that do not contain toxic substances, do not contribute to ozone depletion, are recyclable and renewable, or do not use excessive product packaging fit the sustainable marketing criteria. Ultimately, the bottom line that weighs green marketing is a company’s commitment to meeting the needs of future generations without compromising that of the present.
How Does Green Marketing Work?
While green marketing focuses primarily on environmental traction, its efforts are also influenced by corporate governance policies. Sustainable marketing works by considering the 3 Ps (people, planet, and profit) in one’s business operations and honing their processes in terms of the environmental, social, and government criteria (ESG).
Under green marketing, enterprises make a mission and vision to share a social impact statement and continuously evaluate their progress in achieving these goals. By incorporating sustainability in one’s processes, companies will benefit from revenue, demand, customer base, and cost.
However, if an enterprise’s initiatives are insufficient, not backed by operational changes or significant investment, and done just for the sake of saying it is sustainable, a company can be accused of greenwashing.
Greenwashing is when a company provides misleading information or advertisements on how their products are environmentally sound. Thus, businesses need to form effective green marketing strategies and follow best practices when promoting a company and its products as eco-friendly.
Effective Green Marketing Strategies and Best Practices
- Get certified
The best way to ensure your target market that you are indeed an eco-friendly brand is by getting certified. Statistics show that 88% of customers want brands to take environmental initiatives, and 84% seek eco-friendly, verified, and transparent companies.
You can either apply for a green product label certificate or a green building certification. Some of the most famous sustainability certifications are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), B-Corp, Energy Star, Leaping Bunny, and Fitwel.
These licenses, however, involve multiple requisites verifying your public transparency, social and environmental performance, and legal accountability. It also considers many aspects, such as your contribution to transportation, lighting, energy efficiency, product packaging design, recycling, and paper usage.
- Consider green pricing
In a survey conducted with U.S. consumers, 70% of respondents recognized sustainability as “somewhat important,” with 47% willing to pay more for products from green companies. The pricing power of green products and the increasing willingness of people to pay for them is arguably higher than the average market price due to their increased value and greater impact.
Shoppers have a rising awareness of the significance of investing in a product that would save more resources in the future. Green pricing allows consumers to participate in environmental initiatives actively.
However, if you are leveraging sustainability to price above average, it is crucial to communicate which ingredients or manufacturing activities of your product have higher costs. Charging exuberantly for minimally eco-friendly products will eventually cost you more in the long term.
- Go for sustainable packaging
Bubble wraps, plastic bags, plastic bottles, and other forms of plastic packaging are negatively affecting the ecosystem much more than any other human activity. Their high carbon footprint, toxic compounds, permanence, and threat to living species increases the need for sustainable packaging.
The excessive use of plastics is on top of the minds of consumers. Investing in sustainable packaging, such as recyclable parcels, biodegradable plastic, and reused materials, is one way to show you’re working towards green practices.
- Maintain consistency and transparency
Aligning your environmental initiatives to your customer’s concerns involves truthfully reporting its sustainability measures in a way that coincides with legal requirements. It also necessitates disclosing origins, product design, cooperating stakeholders, and production details to everyone involved. Your goal should not only be giving a green image; you must also ensure that all your business practices are not harmful to the environment.
Part of this is continuously evaluating your solutions, making the environment an integral part of your enterprise’s philosophy, constantly looking for points of improvement for both social and sustainable aspects, and communicating your sustainability strategy internally. Overall, a customer-trust-focused approach through consistency and transparency increases consumers’ confidence in a brand.
- Communicate action
About 43% of shoppers find it challenging to support green businesses because companies are not promoting sustainable initiatives enough to the public. That’s why it is crucial to communicate why you are going green. Show them how every purchase from your enterprise is a vote for a healthier, safer, and cleaner habitat.
Whether you are sourcing your products from fair trade or designing your product in an eco-friendly way, let your customers know its significance, relevance, and how it addresses environmental problems.
Why Leverage Sustainable Packaging in Your Green Marketing Strategy?
In communicating the sustainable advocacy of your business, the first thing consumers will notice is your packaging. The better and more sustainable your packaging is, the greater its perceived value. Thus, a crucial element of a successful green marketing strategy is sustainable packaging. To see the multiple benefits it can bring to your company, continue reading below.
- Establishes credibility
The first step in establishing credibility is sharing your brand’s story. With 68% of consumers more likely to be loyal to brands with the same values, a clients’ connection with your business is more significant when they understand why you started your product or service and when they support your advocacies.
Enterprises build more trust from the market if their potential consumers have conquered and experienced similar problems that a business is addressing. Switching to sustainable packaging for your products and incorporating meaningful missions and visions can form a strong connection with your potential customers.
- Lowers your shipping costs
With sustainable packaging, the amount of packaging you use to wrap and secure a product for shipping is significantly reduced. You cut down on material waste and extra stuffing to fit a plastic box. Minimizing your packaging means shipping smaller and lighter units, therefore, lowering your shipping costs.
- Allows you to enter a new market
Studies prove that 73% of consumers worldwide would change their lifestyle and consumption to minimize their carbon footprint. Along these lines, replacing your plastic packaging with a sustainable one will almost guarantee your business to have new high-quality leads.
The increasing number of green consumers serves as an opportunity to reach new markets. If you integrate eco-friendly solutions into your packaging design and make sustainable changes to your business processes, you can attract an untapped market.
- Helps reduce your ecological footprint
Roughly 12 million tons of plastic waste leak into oceans, destroying livelihoods and ecosystems. This results in an estimated $13 billion in annual environmental damage to marine ecosystems. Plastics are present even in the deepest part of the oceans. If current trends persist, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Ultimately, by leveraging sustainable packaging, the best reward is alleviating this overwhelming plastic problem.
- Increases demand for your products
Around 48% of consumers consider packaging to directly correlate to a product’s value, with sustainable products having 25% more sales in 2021. Furthermore, 52% of consumers would re-purchase from your enterprise if delivered with thoughtful custom packaging.
Supported by these figures, sustainable packaging can make or break your business, with 90% of the market stopping their purchases from a company with irresponsible practices and 48% of consumers switching brands if their order used unsustainable or excessive materials for packaging.
Leveraging the Power of Going Green
With all the benefits of green marketing, it is crucial to assure your customers that you are not misleading them with superficial, sustainable initiatives. Instead, take steps to get certified as a green brand, pursue transparency, integrate environmental values into your mission, and use sustainable packaging.
Indeed, leveraging sustainable product packaging as a marketing tool can increase your business’s market share, reduce your company’s costs, and establish your brand’s credibility. To bring your packaging vision to life through professional printing solutions, talk to experts from Meyers Printing today.