You have an awesome environmentally friendly product or service. You advertise the green benefits, but you're not achieving the sales you want. What is missing?
Marketing a green product is not just about touting its environmental advantages. Guilt doesn't sell. Your marketing should be fun. It should be interesting. It should provide relevant information. Consumers will not purchase a product because the product's marketing revolves around saving the world. Many customers respect the environment, but that doesn't mean they will spend more simply because a product is green.
In order to capture a significant portion of the market, your product needs to be better than other similar products. It must offer advantages that hit close to home for consumers.
Advertise the Personal Benefits
Think about what truly sells a product. The best marketers know that effective marketing revolves around selling the benefits of a product, not focusing on the product itself. How will the product make the consumer's life better? Is it healthier? Is it cheaper? Is it better?
Consider these two labels:
- Our body wash has been specially designed to break down in your drain before it enters the larger water system. There are no harsh chemicals or dyes. The packaging reduces waste by creating less plastic for landfills. Our body wash also uses less water so you will be doing your part to add more green to your cleaning routine.
- Our body wash has been specifically designed for effective cleansing, yet it is also very gentle on your skin. There are no harsh chemicals or dyes, so you will feel great sharing it with your children. It breaks down easily so you don't have to worry about cleaning clogs out of your drain. We know your shower space is limited, so we've concentrated all the same cleaning power into a more conveniently sized bottle.
How are these two labels different? The first one focuses on how purchasing the product is good for the environment. It doesn't affect the water system, it reduces waste, it uses less water in order to be green.
The second one instead explains how purchasing it is good for the person who is making the purchase. It cleans effectively, it won't irritate your skin, it's safe for your kids, it won't clog your drain and it saves space in your bathroom.
The second label connects with the consumer more effectively by immediately providing personal benefits. Sure, the product is the better environmental choice. But, more importantly, it is the better choice for the consumer.
Demonstrate Why Your Product is the Better Choice
There are many products that are more environmentally friendly than their competitors but they are not marketed for their green benefits. They are marketed as the superior choice because they are cheaper, easier, more sustainable, more valuable and so on. They attract a lot of consumers who don't normally think of themselves as passionate about the environment. They are simply looking for the better option.
Don't market your products in a way that makes it seem like purchasing the product is supporting a cause. That type of marketing is not effective in the long run. As with any other products, you need to demonstrate why purchasing your product is a smart choice. Here are just a few ways to improve your green product marketing.
Use online marketing to your advantage. Online marketing is inherently greener than paper marketing simply because it reduces waste. It also spreads your message far and wide to new consumers. Much of your online marketing, including email and social media, can easily be automated in order to save time and resources.
- Social media is a great place to grow consumer awareness and gain customer feedback. You have the ability to connect directly with consumers, share news, comment on other companies' news, share pictures and videos and run contests. You may not make many direct sales from social media. It is intended to grow knowledge about your brand and increase your reach.
- Create videos. If you make a great video, there are no limits to where it will go. Videos are engaging and exciting. Many people don't have the time or patience to read through text. A video should showcase the benefits of your products and also make a brand statement. Who are you? Why should a customer trust you and purchase from your company?
- Use email marketing to build customer loyalty. To gain email subscribers and keep them, it is essential to provide value. Offer benefits through your emails. This may include coupons, tips, discounts, contests, exclusive promotions and so on.
- Post real reviews and user questions. Showing that real people are using your products, interacting with them and enjoying them is extremely effective for getting new people to try them.
Don't Overstate Your Green Claims
Exaggerating your environmental contributions is one of the worst mistakes you can make with green marketing. It's called “greenwashing” and some companies have a notorious reputation for using this technique. It is more acceptable to admit that your product is not as green as you would like it to be but you're working toward changing that.
If you claim that your product is green, you better be prepared to back it up. Companies who make green claims in their marketing are often scrutinized much more than their competitors who do not claim to be green. If you have green marketing ideas that you want to put into your advertising, do your research. Respond honestly to customers who have questions about the environmental benefit or impact of your product.
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