11 Marketing Tips for Green Businesses
By: Chelsea Maher
If you’re an eco-friendly company, you’ve probably already discovered that your marketing efforts must be as unique as you are. You’ve probably had to invent some new strategies and experiment with some old ones in order to see what works best. Right?
Well, if you’re still looking for some suggestions, consider checking out these eco-friendly marketing tips.
1. Identify the selling points that make you different.Example: If you are marketing an eco-friendly appliance, a major selling point could be that it uses less energy than its competitors. Or, if you’re marketing a product that’s reusable, your selling point might be how much it isn’t filling the ocean or landfills with needless waste.
To have success with marketing green products, you have to highlight what makes them different from their non-green counterparts.
2. Always, always, always be transparent.Complete transparency is almost unheard of in the business world. Fortunately, as a green business, you have an opportunity to market yourself on a platform of absolute trust that completely aligns with your products, services, and mission.
Remember, a huge part of being an environmentally friendly company hinges on the customers’ trust. You, even more so than others, must say what you mean and mean what you say. Why? Because if anyone, and we do mean anyone, finds out that you are lying about anything, it could be a media nightmare.
3. Work your “green-ness” into your logo.
There’s an adage in the cooking world that says, “we eat with our eyes.” In the culinary sense, it means that if a dish doesn’t look like something we’d want to eat, we won’t want to eat it.
We do the same thing with brands. If the brand or logo or slogan doesn’t look or sound like something we’d want to engage with, we typically won’t. If you have environmentally conscious shoppers coming to your website and looking at your products and they don’t think you look green enough, they’ll go elsewhere. It’s funny that something as simple as a logo can have this effect on your brand, but it absolutely can.
4. Obtain the approval of a third-party.It’s impossible to hurt your marketing efforts by having a reputable agency or other third-party institution back you up.
For an eco-friendly company, this could mean gaining the support of a government body, like the Environmental Protection Agency. It could also mean teaming with an environmentally conscious organization like Energy Star. Or, it could mean something as simple as labeling your packaging as recyclable or compostable.
5. Concentrate your marketing efforts online.Not only is digital marketing quickly becoming the easiest and most efficient way to reach new customers, it’s green as all get out. It takes far fewer supplies to create and generates almost no waste.
Basically, digital marketing + eco-friendly businesses = best friends forever.
6. If you must engage in more traditional marketing efforts, use recycled products.This will mostly mean using recycled paper, but it could mean using recycled plastics and packaging as well.
And don’t forget to make sure the people receiving these advertisements know that what they’re holding has been recycled. Remember our first tip? A commitment to using only recycled paper/plastic products can be another major selling point for your company.
7. Allow telecommuting.In fact, you should encourage telecommuting. And you shouldn’t just encourage it, you should advertise that you encourage it.
Why? Because it can help save the environment, of course! Less people coming into the office means less cars on the road, less food waste at catered meetings, and less energy that has to be put into heating/cooling/lighting a large office space. Plus, telecommuting has the added benefit of saving your company money.
8. Operate fuel efficient vehicles.Most companies use vehicles in some capacity, regardless of what kind of business they are. For instance, businesses who produce produce tangible products may send employees on trips or trade shows. If that sounds like you, consider switching to hybrid or electric company vehicles.
Companies who rent vehicles to customers can also make the transition to hybrid/electric, whether they’re passenger vehicles or moving trucks. If you ship products, whether you distribute them yourselves or contract a transportation service, you can make the commitment to only using/hiring eco-friendly tractor trailers.
9. Switch to solar.
Not only can you reduce your own energy costs with solar, you may even generate enough power to sell some back to the power companies (yes, that’s a thing). And, as if all those things weren’t enticing enough, you can even get federal solar tax credits for installing solar panels!
10. Go local.Whenever possible, try to support local companies. If you’re catering a meeting, go with a mom-and-pop restaurant instead of a chain. If you need new furniture, look for a local office furniture store as opposed to a big-box furniture store. Not only will this stimulate your local economy, it’ll cut down on the environmental and financial impact of shipping items from afar.
And, as always, make sure you promote that you actively support local businesses!
11. Get involved in the community.
While this isn’t always a direct way to be green/eco-friendly, getting involved in community events and charitable organizations can have an environmental impact.
For example, you can donate or volunteer time to organizations who clean up beaches, parks, and roadways. You can start a group that collects recycling materials from people/companies who might not otherwise recycle. You can even use your eco-friendly vehicles to help deliver meals for groups that feed the elderly or homeless!
These tips don’t give you everything you need to market your eco-friendly business, but they can sure get you started. If you’ve implemented these tips already and still need help with marketing a green company, it may be time to consider hiring a marketing agency. We’ve worked with eco-friendly businesses in the past and would love to do it again!