Green Marketing: How to Capture the Value and Eliminate the Risk

Green Marketing has become, in a very short amount of time, an essential tool for large corporates and small businesses alike. My previous post, Green Marketing: An Effective Technique Plagued by Deceit, talks about the undeniable value it offers as well as the potential risks.

This post will cover three major aspects of developing a green marketing campaign:

  • Conducting a preliminary environmental assessment
  • Proving your claims
  • Promoting personal benefits

Conduct a Preliminary Environmental Assessment

Before you start to develop your green marketing campaign, do an environmental audit of your products/services, facilities and operations. There’s a good chance that your business is already engaging in some sort of green practices. This will also help you identify any aspects of your business that have the potential to become ‘greener’. Use the following checklist from “The New Rules of Green Marketing” to help guide you through this process.

The New Rules Checklist

Prove Your Claims

Once you’ve created a list of your current and potential green practices, start determining what you need to do to prove your green claims. Simply engaging in green practices isn’t enough, you have to be fully transparent and clearly define the practices in order to eliminate the risk of being accused of ‘greenwashing’. Plan to provide verification on all of your marketing channels and collateral with green certifications, labels, ingredient lists, consumer reports, reviews, testimonials and recommendations.

Since green certifications are such an essential aspect of green marketing, I decided to provide a list of reputable certification programs that cover a broad range of products.

Click here for a more extensive list of reputable certification programs separated by business type.

Side-note: Limit the amount of technical, industry-specific jargon. Your customers need to be able to comprehend your green marketing messaging in order to see the true green value in your business.

Promote Personal Benefits

Saving the planet is great and many customers see the value in it. However, when it boils down to it, your customers care more about the things that affect them and their loved-ones directly. Therefore, it’s important that your green marketing campaigns relate your claims to personal benefits such as saving money or improving one’s health.

For example, organically grown food helps limit the environmental damages caused by pesticides and herbicides. The most valuable benefit of organic foods in the minds of the consumer however, is the absence of harmful chemicals in the food that their families eat. Make sure to promote the direct and personal benefits that your green efforts offer to your customers and their loved ones.

Need Inspiration? Click here to learn about 10 truly innovative and successful green marketing campaigns.

It’s hard to deny the value of green marketing when you know that, according the BBMG Conscious Report, 87% of Americans are more likely to buy from companies that commit to environmentally friendly practices.

Has your business already implemented a green marketing campaign? Are you planning to? If not, what’s holding you back? As always, we love to hear your stories, thoughts and opinions.

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About Ben Koenig

Ben joined the Swiftpage team in May 2012 as a Marketing Associate. He is in charge of outbound communications, strategic analyses, support content management, and a variety of other marketing projects. When Ben's not working you are likely to find him enjoying every outdoor activity the Colorado Wilderness has to offer.


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