Most of the Marketing Fad or Fab features here in the past have dealt with Internet marketing and online advertising. This time we’re going to talk about the eco-friendly trend in green business, and more specifically the concept of green marketing.
How it Works:
To put it simply, a business is utilizing green marketing tactics when their marketing message is targeting the eco-conscious members of the target market. For example, a Web hosting provider markets itself as environmentally friendly to prospective customers by touting the fact that their facilities (where your website would be physically hosted) is run by wind or solar power. Another example would be in food marketing, where you’ll find products marketed as organic or pushing the fact that it’s from local farmers (meaning less preservatives and less waste in transporting the food). Essentially, the marketing campaign revolves to some degree around appealing to a consumer base trying to be more environmentally friendly.
Fad or Fab?
Fab – While my overall outlook on green marketing is a positive one (it’s consumer-driven and often altruistic to at least a degree), I do think there’s a flip-side where certain green marketing techniques are simply fads.
First, there’s greenwashing – false claims about environmental issues to raise concerns with the public – convincing them there’s a problem that may not even exist, and then pushing your product as a solution. This is just deceitful, and we’re in a day and age now where it’s very likely you’ll be caught and publicly exposed (and maybe it’s just the PR professional in me, but I don’t believe in lying to your customers just to make a sale or be able to charge more).
I also think the premium prices for green products will eventually become a thing of the past. As people come to expect more products to be environmentally friendly, their willingness to pay more (looking at the items as special in some way) will diminish. However, with the demand rooted in personal convictions, I don’t think the demand for green products will fade to match that price issue – companies will find a way to go green for less.
When it comes to green marketing, the real key is to be sincere. If you truly care about the environment, and are acting out of that concern first and foremost, consumers will notice. Focus on building a more sustainable business beyond simply being able to increase prices or appeal to the eco-savvy markets, and you won’t be setting yourself up for a PR nightmare down the road.
Note: Be sure to check out the new Green Business section here at BizAmmo.com for upcoming green business ideas to help your business (big or small) go green.