Green Marketing Sustainability

Green marketing may just seem to be a trendy new way of selling a product or service, but what is green marketing? Does it make a difference?

Green marketing by dictionary definition is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally preferable to others. Green, environmental and eco-marketing are part of the new marketing approaches which do not just re-focus, adjust or enhance existing marketing thinking and practice, but seek to challenge those approaches and provide a substantially different perspective!

From this ‘challenging to marketing system to change the industry’ way of thinking, green marketing has become a huge innovator. Those willing marketing agencies willing to ask a company to implement green practises and to motivate them to continue to do so, are creating an awareness of the issues that matter. In a way, green marketing companies are giving feedback to companies so that they can produce the products people want, in a way that helps preserve the earth for future generations. A good green marketing company can make the changes the world needs.

But how do you know a good green marketing company? What makes green marketing better than other marketing companies?

While different agencies and organizations offer various definitions of green marketing, they generally agree that it is the marketing of products and companies that promote the environment in some substantial way. Some definitions look for environmentally “safe” or “sustainable” production, while others seek to reduce a company’s “carbon footprint.” Green marketing companies seek to go above and beyond traditional marketing by promoting environmental core values in the hope that consumers will associate these values with their company or brand. The obvious assumption of green marketing is that potential consumers will view a product or service’s “greenness” as a benefit and base their buying decision accordingly.

The not-so-obvious assumption of green marketing is that consumers will be willing to pay more for green products than they would for a less-green comparable alternative product – an assumption that has not been proven conclusively. Many eco-friendly products cost more because of the natural ingredients or processes that need to used, and are often on small scale production. If a large corporation produces something green you may have to beware, as often the products may not be as green as they first seem.

The public tends to be skeptical of green claims to begin with and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if a green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted by a company’s other products or practices. Presenting a product or service as green when it’s not, is called greenwashing.

Greenwashing is becoming all too common in marketing these days. To give a product an edge and to garner more sales, some companies are accentuating green practises, but their products are harmful. One famous case was a screen cleaner that announced it was phasing out its pressurised cans as the propellant was known to be harmful to the atmosphere, in favour of pump bottles. That would have been a great, environmentally friendly move if the cleaner itself hadn’t been 100% ozone destroying, ultra-polluting CFC.

Green marketing can be a very powerful marketing strategy though when it’s done right, but as with all sustainability practises you need to know what is sustainable and what is greenwashing. Do your research and do not be afraid to ask. If you have a product to sell, look at what the marketing company does that aligns with your green principles. There is no need to drop your eco-friendly practises to sell your product. Take the time to find a good, green marketing company.

How do you know a good green marketing company when you see one? Easy; all you’ve got to do is look at what they’re doing for the environment, and make sure that they ask you questions like what do you want our company to do for your green principles and what are you doing for sustainability? These all show that they are committed to educating your audience on what is important, as well as sustainably promoting your product or company.

As marketing becomes more important in the digital age, supporting green marketing becomes more important. Make sure that you use your voting ‘dollar’ to support all the different areas of sustainability.

Like what we’re doing? Want to share your story or tell others? Do you have a green business in Calgary and want to get in front of a large local audience? Let’s build a green community together!