This is a great time for businesses to enter into the sustainable industry or transform businesses into sustainable, green businesses. Many companies are already making their inception into sustainable strategies, but we see very few companies communicating about their green efforts, and an even smaller percentage of companies are doing it right. Many companies are failing to do what they are supposed to do during their green campaigns. To promote your business as a sustainable business, you must educate your audience about the benefits of sustainability, and show them that the products or services you offer are sustainable.
It’s true that consumers today are seeking out sustainable products more and more and are willing to pay more for green products. Sustainable alternative products are often perceived as healthier, better quality and more eco-friendly, saving the environment.
“We asked a number of entrepreneurs and experts for insights on the components of green marketing that works. The gist: Green only yields green when messaging blends transparency, practicality and savvy.” – Five-Step Guide to Marketing a Business As Green | Entrepreneur.com
Most companies are not marketing their products the right way because it’s not easy to market green products or a green company the right way. There is no simple way to proceed and the strategies involving a sustainable business and the idea of sustainability itself varies among different groups and individuals. One of the reasons for that is because green marketing has quite a few different factors in play. Successful green marketing is when you practice sustainability. Below are a few green business strategies to give your business a boost.
Define what you mean by green business
The world “Green” often means different things to different people. Your company could be using off-the-grid, renewable power sources, your employees could be carpooling, and you could be using LED light bulbs. Overall, your company is using sustainable methods and strategies to reduce their carbon footprint in order to conserve energy and reduce their negative impact on the globe. The word “green business” summarizes everything. It helps companies who are going green when they describe exactly what they are doing to become green and how it affects the environment and how it directly impacts the health issues of the customer.
Give your customers honest information about health impacts. “You may not want to make any specific health benefit claims, but it’s always good to have information at hand as to the concerns and impacts that have been proven about the conventional way of doing things.” – Green Marketing Concepts.
If your products and services are eco-friendly or free from toxic chemicals or harmful ingredients, your packaging or advertisements should clearly state that. Environmentally savvy customers can become disheartened with a company when it doesn’t live up to its eco-friendly claims or when it doesn’t explain how it’s eco-friendly in the first place.
Pay attention to customers
Transforming your business into a green business is a great idea – if you can create a big enough market for that sort of thing, and your customers know what to expect from a “green business.” The major key to green marketing is to get the right message to your customers. Again, if you don’t explain what is meant by going green, you might have your customers confused and moving away from you. The Executives at Bardessono, a luxury hotel, and spa in Yountville, California made the mistake of declaring itself as a green business. After achieving a Platinum status from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, this hotel became highly appreciated by the environmentalists. It also became an instant hit among the green-obsessed journalists, but it struggled with its most important ingredient of the business, the customers. The reason was that after the hotel declared itself as a sustainable hotel, the guests who were accustomed to the luxury hotel comforts, perceived “green” as” uncomfortable.” The majority of the customers of the hotel valued luxury and comfort above all else, so, when they heard that the hotel turned into a sustainable hotel, they booked elsewhere.
“It took us a while to realize the best message for our customers was, – we’re a world-class hotel and, oh yeah, we’re green,” says Jim Treadway, the hotel’s general manager.
Focus on the benefits
Just having a green product or service out in the market is not good enough to get attention from the general customers. You should label your products or services with any third party certificate or govern approved logos that you can legally use, such as “organic,” “fair trade,” and so on. People are also likely to buy your products more if your products are easier to use and do not impact the environment. For example, your insecticides do not require customers to put on a suit or mask and allows children to play in the garden right after you sprayed it. Your packaging should include the following messages:
Eco-friendly: If your products and services are eco-friendly, that means you have products and services that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits, while protecting public health and the environment over their whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal. You should publicly declare that and educate people on what eco-friendly products really are.
Non-Toxic: Your products should clearly say if your products or packaging are environmentally friendly or safe for humans.
Free of: You might want to let your customers know that your products do not contain certain toxic chemicals or harmful elements that the mainstream alternate products do contain.
Biodegradable: If your products are biodegradable, it will break down and decompose into elements found in nature. Let your customers know if you are selling bio-degradable products.
Recyclable: If your product or packaging can be recycled, put the sign on the product or packaging.
VOC Free: Some paints and household cleaning products are free from VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Made with recycled materials: Specify if your product or packaging, or both, was made from recycled materials
Made with renewable energy: If your company was powered by a renewable energy source, such as solar panels or wind-powered generators, your product packaging should indicate that
Your customers would not mind paying some extra money considering the fact that, in the long run, they would be saving money when they buy your products or services.
- Durable items don’t have to be replaced as often
- Efficient items save on the cost of energy
- Innovative items find better ways of doing things that replace expenses
- High-Quality items may be more concentrated
- Recyclable items have no or low disposal costs
- Safe items save you the pain and lost wages of future illness
Now is a good time to make your debut in the green business world, if you haven’t already started your green business or haven’t started using the green strategies for your existing business. The best way to benefit from a green business is to convey the message to your customers about your efforts to reduce carbon footprints and negative impacts on the globe. Spread awareness about sustainability among your potential customers, and do your best. Provide the best possible services to your customers, be green in your business methods, use all resources efficiently, save resources, and the environment, and also pass the savings on to your customers. Provide them with goods and services that keep them coming back for more.
Source: Institute of Ecolonomics