Green marketing - have you ever heard of it? Companies that focus on ecology are the future. They combine profitability with the lowest possible environmental impact - and are thus successful in the long term. This form of sustainable advertising is in principle the key that opens the door from a throwaway to a sustainable society.
In this post I want to explain everything about the so-called ecomarketing. From the definition, to advantages, to examples of practical implementation. Let's go!
Here is another short Table of contents for you:
- Implementation & examples
- Closing words
Notice: At first glance, this article certainly appeals more to entrepreneurs. However, I think it will also have great added value for you from a consumer perspective. For example, you will learn how to Greenwashing from honest green marketing.
What is green marketing anyway?
Green marketing respectively Ecomarketing Refers to a company's sales promotion activities with the deliberate aim of achieving a Avoidance and reduction of environmental pollution to bring about.₁
Compared to conventional marketing activities, green marketing takes into account ecological and ethical decision-making criteria in addition to customer and competitive orientation. Conscious and honest environmental thinking subsequently increases a company's sales opportunities.
The following terms are also commonly used for this form of marketing Green Marketing, Environmental Protection Marketing, sustainable marketing or ecology-oriented marketing.
Notice: Definitions of ecomarketing basically vary widely. Simply because green marketing is such an incredibly broad field. In this article, I will of course try to make the topic as tangible as possible for you.
Types & characteristics of sustainable marketing
Since definitions tend to come across as a bit dusty in their essence, I've listed for you once again the essential types and characteristics that you can use to do green marketing, or by which you can recognize green marketing.
- Passive: As the name suggests, one's marketing activities become more sustainable because (new) laws and regulations are complied with or implemented.
- Selective: Companies let their own activities be guided by the behavior of the competition and dare at most to make a few attempts on their own initiative.
- Internal: Companies that are sustainable with the processes within the organization, but less so with the products they offer, can be assigned here.
- Innovative: Environmental protection and sustainability are a priority here - both internally and externally. A comprehensive strategy is created to solve specific grievances or environmental problems.
Here are some characteristics and modes of action by which you can recognize companies with serious, sustainable marketing strategies, for example:
- Sense of responsibility
- Resource conservation
- Economic efficiency
- Additional unique selling proposition or selling point
Both ecological and economic as well as social aspects must therefore be taken into account in ecomarketing.
Difference from greenwashing: The negative term greenwashing refers to consumer-deceptive marketing measures that present a company or individual products as particularly environmentally friendly and sustainable, even though they are not. Greenwashing is therefore neither honest, nor relevant, nor economical - ultimately, it harms a company more than it helps.
Sustainable marketing mix:
Since I studied online marketing, I am familiar with the marketing mix. But how about simply combining the four points with the aspects of sustainability. Then the 4 P's of green marketing would look something like this in terms of content:
- Product policy (Product): Products and services offered contribute to the protection of our environment and ideally even combat existing environmental problems, such as the Water shortage.
- Pricing policy (Price): The price range is somewhat higher in green marketing. Customers are prepared to bear the additional costs arising from environmental aspects in moderation, as long as the company's work is transparent and the measures are plausible.
- Distribution policy (Place): A company's distribution and transport routes are important for green marketing, especially from the point of view of sustainable mobility. Companies that organize themselves in an environmentally friendly and resource-saving manner have advantages here.
- Communication (Promotion): All advertising measures should be communicated in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible. For example, companies that engage in green marketing mostly communicate the content of their offer digitally in order to Save paper.
Advantages of Green Marketing
What exactly are the reasons for companies to only use green marketing in the future? And what exactly encourages customers to prefer the offerings of sustainable companies? Here are a few opportunities and advantages that come with this form of environmentally conscious public relations:
For companies themselves
- Stronger trust (for example, from customers who notice that sustainability is a priority in the products offered).
- Deeper identification of employees (for example, because employees know they are doing good in their jobs).
- Growth (for example, through greater awareness as a result of the elimination of environmental problems).
- Image improvement (for example, durable, reusable products).
- Cost savings (for example through shorter transport routes)
Basically, sustainable action has no real disadvantages for anyone. From an entrepreneurial point of view, however, one could mention the existing danger of slipping into greenwashing due to the presumably higher production costs and the associated new pricing policy.
For our society
- Less greenwashing: As a consumer, you find trust in certain brands that favor honest, green marketing. This in turn minimizes the chances of success for companies that engage in greenwashing.
- Health: Working in fair and sustainable companies lets you work in a Work job that makes happy.
- Fairness: Many companies that consciously practice sustainable marketing also work sustainably internally - and ensure fair working conditions and appropriate pay, for example.
- Good conscience: As an employee of environmentally conscious companies, you know that you are doing something good and creating added value for yourself, but also for our environment and our society.
- Job Opportunities: The chances of keeping your job in the long term are often greater at companies that have a sustainable impact. Feel free to let us know about you in the Job portal for sustainable job postings inspire.
- Clarification: Green marketing educates our society about problems - positive action as a priority personality value automatically gets more attention as a result.
For consumers, too, sustainable marketing by companies has no real disadvantages in principle. The presumably higher prices could be mentioned here. As a counter-argument, however, I would also like to mention that one can but also save a lot of money by serious-common-sense behavior can.
Notice: The fact that sustainable marketing naturally also has a particularly great advantage for our environment or the fight against the major environmental problems of our time should also be clear. Nevertheless, I did not want to leave it unmentioned 😉 Due to CO2-savings, for example, counteracts the Climate change against. Can you think of any other advantages and opportunities for companies or consumers? Then feel free to write a short comment.
Green marketing - practical implementation with examples
Now I have shown you something about the definition and the advantages of this promising form of modern marketing. But what does it look like in practice? Here you will learn a lot of practical examples, as well as tips for the implementation in your company.
1. philosophy & storytelling
A company's philosophy, as well as sustainable storytelling, are examples of long-winded marketing strategies that are all the more effective in the long run. Companies that take on social responsibility and work transparently will enjoy great competitive advantages over time.
Example 1: A StartUp goes on a team outing, helping clubs clean up beaches. The photos are shared on social media.
Example 2: A company that sells water bottles prints them with inspiring messages for environmental protection and uses part of the revenue to support founders in building sustainable businesses.
2. green promotional products
The image of promotional items has suffered somewhat in our society. This is because they are often equated with cheap disposable items. But there are now also many suppliers who consciously focus on resource-saving, fair and sustainable production and use of their promotional products.
Example: A company that sells promotional items as cheap mass-produced goods makes a conscious decision to only offer durable items made from recycled or organic raw materials that are produced under fair conditions.
Tip: If you want to print your own sustainable promotional items such as notebooks or bags, for example. Laprinta.com a useful point of contact.
3. campaigns without direct product reference
A company's campaigns do not always have to focus on the product on offer. Instead, an initiative that promotes, for example, conscious, sustainable action by our society can initially create new trust and ultimately also increase sales figures. In this way, green marketing can also function entirely without a product-related message - and combine success and environmental protection.
Example: A trade fair organizer for sustainable business advertises in the subway with large posters that one should avoid capsule coffee because it creates 8,000 tons of waste every year and the coffee thereby costs unnoticed 70€ per kilogram.
4. donations to social projects (cause-related marketing)
This form of green marketing is somewhat controversial. Often it is not the product that is sustainable, but only the promised additional service. But in principle, this form of eco-marketing really makes sense from many points of view. One sells a product, motivates potential customers through donations to Animal welfare organizations or other social enterprises and also educates society about existing grievances and institutions worthy of support. The company's own image is promoted - and this increases the chances of long-term success.
Example: A company that offers organic nut bars, organic hand soaps and mineral water donates - absolutely transparently - one meal for every bar purchased, one bar of soap for every hand soap purchased and one day of drinking water for every mineral water purchased to those in need. (to help solve problems like the World hunger or the Water shortage counteract)
Question: Can you think of any other examples of green marketing? Then feel free to write me a comment.
Sustainable Marketing - The Opportunity for Business and our Environment
For green marketing to work effectively, a long process is necessary - but it is also precisely for this reason that you are very likely to stand out from the competition. Attracting attention in a sustainable way is therefore an incredibly big opportunity for companies. All those responsible need to do is make sure they remain authentic and honest. In order to cut costs, many entrepreneurs tend to drift slightly into greenwashing in their public relations work. This must be avoided. Honesty and a focus on sustainability, on the other hand, are rewarded by environmentally conscious customers.
Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions about green marketing? Then I look forward to your comment.
Stay environmentally conscious,
PS.: If you can also imagine yourself starting a business that adds value to our society and the environment, be sure to check out the post about sustainable foundation an.
₁ Prof. Dr. M. Kirchberg: Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon - Ökomarketing, available at https://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de/definition/oekomarketing-42734 [20.11.2019].