Climate change is one of our greatest challenges in 2023, and it is why so many customers are engaging in more mindful consumption. They understand their buying power and want to support businesses that are taking climate action.
In order to meet their expectations, many global brands are innovating to become green. They are adopting marketing strategies that help boost awareness of the positive changes they are making with their products and services. These strategies mainly include the practice of green marketing.
Some of you may have heard of green marketing previously as you familiarise yourself with the area of sustainability in business. If not, don’t worry; we’ll break it down below and discuss the role of green marketing in small businesses.
About green marketing
According to Harvard Business Review, overall sales revenue can rise up to 20 percent as a result of a brand implementing strong corporate responsibility practices. If that wasn’t enough, Cone Communications reports 64 percent of millennials are likely to turn down a role if the business does not have these practices in place.
This only proves the importance of sustainability for customers today. So how do you communicate the positive practices you have implemented to become more considerate of the planet and show the difference you are making? Enter green marketing. The overall aim of green marketing is to enhance brand perception and image.
It makes sure that the brand is perceived to have a positive impact on the planet. Some of the strategies used in green marketing include creating sustainable products and services. In addition, utilising packaging that does not negatively affect the planet. For instance, recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable packaging.
Other examples of green marketing strategies include investing in environmentally beneficial initiatives which align with corporate social responsibility principles and reducing environmental impact during the production and manufacturing processes. Adopting sustainable business practices is also essential for green communications.
The practice is becoming increasingly common. Often more expensive than traditional marketing, it can be a great return on investment thanks to the increased demand for sustainable products and services. For a lot of enterprises, the benefits it brings to the environment will outweigh the price difference. Additionally, making these changes can reduce costs over time and improve efficiency.
The importance of green marketing
Green marketing in small businesses is an important practice for many reasons. Namely, because it helps to improve awareness of the detrimental global environmental issues we face. For example, biodiversity loss, global warming, pollution and much more. The increased awareness encourages customers to shop more responsibly.
We need products and services that are considerate of the planet’s needs. This does not mean creating only sustainable products and services but those that do not deplete the Earth’s resources, have longer lifespans, and will not pollute the planet when they are discarded.
The practice of green marketing encourages businesses to do exactly that and transform their supply chain to become more sustainable. It positively impacts the health of the ecological environment and our people. Green marketing makes people aware of the environmental footprint products and services can have.
Additionally, there are more sustainable ways to carry out business. Green marketing has already seen a rise in pure products based on organic farming, increased consumption of herbal products, and more products free from chemical fertilisers and in planet-friendly packaging.
The benefits of green marketing for small businesses
Organisations can implement green marketing seamlessly by creating eco-friendly products and services, greening their operations, and utilising digital avenues.
There are many advantages of using green marketing in small businesses strategies outlined below.
Reduces overhead costs
When making any changes within your business, costs are an important factor to consider. This is especially the case for smaller businesses because you likely do not have the same resources as larger organisations. Which iswhy costs may be at the top of your mind when it comes to becoming more sustainable.
However, despite popular belief, transforming to an environmentally-friendly business model can actually help you reduce your overhead costs. If you switch to conscious manufacturing processes, you utilise less energy and water. Therefore, your operational expenses decrease significantly. Utilising eco-friendly materials can also help you curb waste disposal costs too.
Boosts brand loyalty and profits
Green marketing is a recipe for success when it comes to improving brand loyalty and profits. Businesses that are the first in their industry to provide a sustainable service or product have a significant competitive advantage. However, even if you are not the first, the action of going green still shows customers you care about saving the planet.
Its clear sustainability is an important factor to customers today when making purchasing decisions. Ultimately, green marketing strategies will help you stand out from the crowd, particularly those who have not yet innovated to align with today’s climate. From this point, you will be able to improve brand loyalty and boost profitability. With this in mind, it’s clear green marketing strategies can greatly help you grow your small business in 2023.
It allows you to connect with a new audience
Nasdaq reports that three-quarters of Gen Z consumers state sustainability is more important to them than brand names. Nielsen also shares that 75 percent of Millennials are environmentally conscious to the extent they are happy to alter their buying habits for greener products. Therefore, incorporating green marketing into your strategy will help you attract these different demographics.
In particular, Millennials and Gen Z customers, who make up a considerable portion of our society. These customers want to know how products are created and how the products positively affect the world. All of this can be communicated with green marketing. From this point, you win these customers who want to support brands taking climate action.
Green marketing helps the planet
Arguably the most important benefit on this list, green marketing in small businesses helps businesses contribute to positive environmental change. Businesses following through on their promises contribute significantly to slowing climate change and protecting the planet.
This should always be the primary reason to switch to green marketing strategies. This is why customers’ preferences and attitudes are changing in the first place. Ultimately, these customers want businesses to take accountability. The Earth is our home, and we shouldn’t want to destroy it.
How to implement a green marketing strategy
Now that you have a deeper understanding of green marketing and its benefits for small businesses, let’s look at how you can implement your strategy. Boosting your public relations efforts is one thing that will certainly help. According to Deutsche Bank research, businesses that received positive press around sustainability outperformed competitors.
By contrast, those who received bad coverage underperformed. It is also best to avoid too much bragging concerning your efforts to become more sustainable. That’s the great thing about green marketing; it can make customers the heroes of the story. After all, people decide to support an eco-conscious brand because of how they make them feel.
This could include making them feel a part of a movement or aligning your values with your customer’s personal views and beliefs. It could also mean building a green website. Ultimately, this strategy enables you to empower customers to make more mindful decisions about what they are purchasing and how it affects the Earth.
When they purchase an item that makes them feel good, they are more likely to feel that same positive emotion when buying from you again. When it comes to green marketing, you want to talk about how your business and customers can collaborate to create positive change. In addition, the actions you are taking to go green.
Email is one of the best communication channels for this. You can tell customers how you are transforming your operations and encourage them to be more sustainable in their daily lives. Welcome emails, product promotions, win-back campaigns, and subscriber engagement are all examples of emails that will work well.
Cause marketing is also incredibly effective. This is where you support other sustainable charities as part of your strategy. It could include giving back to an organisation within your community that helps the planet. For example, Everlane used online holiday shopping as a means to raise money for sustainable farming in 2021.
It is also important to remember that being transparent is essential when marketing a sustainable brand. Greenwashing is on the rise, and customers are well aware of this deceitful practice. They can spot the signs, and if you are not being transparent enough, they may label you as a brand that greenwashes even if you aren’t. While green marketing is great for business, you still should be doing this for the right reason – saving the planet.
Green marketing strategies are being implemented by businesses across the globe to improve their business performance and brand image. The practice is all about advertising your services and products as environmentally friendly. Beyond helping the environment, green marketing has many other benefits for businesses, like boosting brand loyalty and improving profitability. Most importantly, driving positive change to slow climate change and conserve the Earth.