Green Marketing: 5 Examples of Sustainable Marketing
Green marketing often uses facts to highlight environmentally-friendly products, services, or aspects of a company's operations to appeal to consumers who are concerned about the environment.
This article explores the definition of green marketing, highlights its benefits, and shares real-world examples.
What Is Green Marketing?
As we grow increasingly aware of environmental issues like pollution, global warming, and waste consumption, scientific research shows that without significant change, the Earth will continue to suffer the side effects of humanity's industrial growth and urban development.
In response to changes in the environment, individuals, businesses, governments, and international organizations are making an effort to reduce carbon footprints, minimize waste, and protect the environment.
Companies of all sizes are responding, too, with many adjusting their manufacturing methods and daily operations to “go green.” Some new companies are being founded purely on the concept of offering green products and services to eco-conscious consumers. Examples include Fuergy, a company with AI-driven software to measure and optimize energy consumption; Facedrive, a food delivery and transportation company committed to sustainable travel; and Power Ledger, an energy trading application.
Green marketing is another way for companies to display their eco-friendly credentials by promoting products and services that offer environmental benefits or are made in environmentally-friendly ways. Green marketing also includes highlighting aspects of a company's efforts to care for the planet.
Green marketing can focus on several different areas, including:
- Products/services themselves
- How the products are offered and sourced
- Product packaging
- Other areas of the company's operations that are carried out in eco-friendly ways
How Does Green Marketing Work?
Green marketing takes many forms like digital marketing, advertising campaigns, billboards, and social media marketing. The key ingredient of a green marketing campaign is its focus on the environment and sustainability issues.
Green marketing should show how your company appeals to the segment of its customers who invest in sustainable products and eco-friendly businesses. In fact, green marketing is a great example of reverse positioning, or the strategy that emphasizes your company's values instead of just its products.
Here are 4 benefits of a green marketing strategy:
- Focusing on the environment helps your business stay relevant
- Appealing to younger generations who are investing time and resources in environmental issues
- Increasing sales by catering to an environmentally-focused audience
- Building your brand identity around green living and sustainability values
1. Remaining Relevant
Environmental issues and climate change are important to consumers, with a majority of people claiming they've noticed signs of climate change. Company's need to keep up with the latest environmental topics to prove they are relevant and in-touch with the needs and emotions of modern customers.
For example, if you’re a cosmetic company and only sell products in plastic packaging, you risk alienating customers who are committed to plastic-free goods.
2. Appealing to Younger Generations
Interest in the environment is not limited to younger generations, but studies show that it tends to be younger people who care more deeply about these issues and are more likely to seek out and shop with businesses that make the effort to be green.
For example, Native, a natural deodorant and cosmetic company, responded to feedback by offering deodorants in plastic-free packaging.
The product sold out within days of hitting virtual and physical shelves, which demonstrated consumer demand for more environmentally-friendly products from Native.
3. Increasing Sales
Like all other advanced marketing strategies, green marketing aims to make more sales. Studies show that more people are becoming selective about the environmental footprint of companies and are more likely to shop with brands that have green initiatives and services.
In fact, 37% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, and nearly three-quarters of millennials already do.
For example, in 2019, in the U.S., popular deodorant brands like Dove, Degree, Secret, and Old Spice cost about $3.50 to $9.00.
4. Building Brand Identity
Investing in green marketing improves the overall perception of your company – its brand identity.
Ikea is just one example of a company associating itself with green themes and eco-friendly initiatives.
Ikea's green marketing campaign featured the ad above. It claims that Ikea is committed to people and the planet and appeals to customers who care more about the environment and personal well-being than profit.
Examples of Green Marketing
Let's take a closer look at more examples of green marketing in action to see how it works.
Patagonia turned heads in 2011 when it ran a campaign asking people not to buy its products for environmental reasons.
In the campaign, Patagonia openly admitted that its operations harmed the planet. The campaign, however, actually helped improve public opinion of Patagonia as an honest brand that was making an effort to be more eco-friendly.
The Body Shop
When people think of The Body Shop, they immediately tend to associate the brand with nature, environmental awareness, and care for the planet, and this is all thanks to the company's dedication to green marketing over the years.
The Body Shop’s marketing campaigns focus on products that are not tested on animals and use natural, sustainably-sourced ingredients. The “I Am Forever Against Animal Testing” campaign is a key example of green marketing.
Danish beer brand Carlsberg recently launched a campaign focusing on its efforts to create a 100% biodegradable beer bottle crafted from wood fiber.
With more people worrying about the waste they generate in their homes, this campaign makes Carlsberg a more appealing choice for beer fans who want to support the environment.
French clothing brand Lacoste wowed consumers with its Save Our Species campaign, replacing the company's iconic crocodile logo with similar images of other animals from around the world. This step aimed to draw attention to endangered species.
Lacoste's powerful green marketing campaign helped raise funds for environmental efforts, while cementing Lacoste's status as a caring and eco-conscious company.
Starbucks is living proof that even the biggest chains with countless physical locations and immense energy usage all over the planet can put eco-friendly initiatives in place.
For example, Starbucks launched reusable cup campaigns, offering customers a discount if they buy and use a reusable cup, rather than relying on single-use cups. Starbucks continues to invest in green marketing to demonstrate its dedication to renewable energy sources and social impact projects.
Invest in Green Marketing as a Sustainable Marketing Strategy
Green marketing can be a powerful force, not only for the planet but also for businesses that want to keep up with the times, appeal to younger generations, and set themselves apart from the crowd. If you need any assistance with your next green marketing campaign, browse our list of digital marketing companies.
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