The world is changing. Whether one believes that climate change is caused by man or is caused by a naturally occurring process, the fact is that we can all do something to help preserve the beauty our planet offers. This has led to new concepts in approaching how products and services are presented to targeted demographics, such as green marketing. Use resources wisely is something that has become important to many, which is why the pros and cons of green marketing are being considered by many brands today.
What Are the Pros of Green Marketing?
1. It is a fast way to improve a brand’s reputation.
Many potential customers today want to know how your product or service is going to help the environment in some way. It adds to the authenticity that people want to see in what is being offered. Millennials especially want to identify themselves with brands that are in business for more than just profits – they want to be able to change the world each day in some small way. Green marketing can communicate these principles in an effective way.
2. It demonstrates leadership.
Green marketing isn’t a priority in every industry. If your brand can take the lead and be one of the first that demonstrates environmental concerns are important, then there is the chance to make a greater impact with the marketing message. This adds to your brand’s expertise and encourages more prospects to come your way for advice, input, and product/service offerings.
3. It can create higher levels of loyalty.
When you’re willing to give back with the profits you earn, then you create more opportunities for people to support you. To a point, anyway – if you’re only donating a nickel to people in need and earning $7 profit per sale, then your green marketing efforts will be seen as being cheap and selfish by many. If your efforts are genuine and the amounts you give meaningful, then green marketing can be incredibly effective.
4. You generate leverage.
When your green marketing is able to establish expertise and loyalty, then you generate local and regional leverage. Vendors, community leaders, distributors – they all begin to help promote your business because a relationship with you makes profitable sense to them. The more authentically green you can be, then the more effective you can be.
5. You can increase your margins.
People are willing to pay more for a product when a value proposition is higher. Green marketing increases this proposition because it allows consumers to give back through your efforts so they can feel like they’re helping others with their purchases. This allows you to potentially increase prices or develop accessories or complimentary services so that you can push sales even higher.
6. It makes it easier to compete.
This is especially true if you can prove through your green marketing that your produce meets or exceeds similar non-green products on the market today. It positions your product or service to be very desirable to your targeted demographics because you’re focusing on multiple facets of value instead of just one.
7. It creates good feelings.
If your green marketing efforts don’t create a sale, they will create good feelings for those who encounter the campaign and make them want your products or services in the future with a greater likelihood.
What Are the Cons of Green Marketing?
1. There is skepticism because many are doing it.
There are a lot of brands that promote how “green” they are, when in reality they aren’t really doing anything. Sometimes this is even referred to as “greenwashing.” When exposed to brands that are trying to fake it to make it in this area, your authentic green marketing efforts are going to be treated with skepticism. Don’t take it personally. Just be consistent with your message.
2. Green marketing can be quite expensive.
Not everyone is going to be on board with your green marketing efforts, both internally or externally. This is because everyone has their own preconceived notions about what is green and what is not green. If your marketing efforts don’t fall in line with a person’s personal beliefs and feelings, then they’ll build a fence and your brand will be stuck on the other side of it.
3. It’s a marketing campaign that can become quite complex.
How your brand creates a potentially negative impact on the planet can be very complex. It may take a lengthy amount of research to determine what that impact is and how it can be corrected. Once you have good data, there will need to be a total commitment to changing direction so the core issues can be addressed. Because there is no guarantee that these efforts will generate revenues, the costs involved can be difficult to accept.
4. Perception can affect how people approach your brand.
Many products or services that are offered through green marketing are often more expensive than non-green products, and some may even believe they are less effective. Although this may not be the case, the cost of getting your targeted demographics to understand this can involve a lot of time and a lot of cash that you may not wish to spend.
5. Green marketing can create a lot of resistance.
Let’s face it: not everyone likes to change. People get set in their ways, used to their habits and routines, and don’t like it when that reality is interrupted. If your brand does the interrupting, there may be more people who choose to avoid what you’re offering than thinking about embracing it.
6. It can be difficult to keep current with this type of marketing.
Green business opportunities are here to stay, but staying ahead of the curve can be extremely difficult. Remember when using recycled paper was the best thing you could do to be green? Or ink that was made from soy? If that’s the only thing that your brand is doing, then those who have stepped up their efforts by using wind power, green roofing techniques, and other modern environmentally friendly techniques are going to have a greater impact.
7. It’s still a relatively new concept.
This means being extremely green isn’t always a profitable solution. It may not always succeed from a profit standpoint, but the positive social and environmental impacts can leave a lasting impression. Those impressions, however, don’t do much if you’re in bankruptcy court.
The pros and cons of green marketing show that it can be a positive way to interact with customers, but it isn’t without risk. Without authenticity, this type of marketing can backfire quickly and with great devastation. Manage the risk by completing thorough research and getting all stakeholders on board to limit the negatives and this approach really could change the world.