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Green Marketing: The Challenges Businesses Face When Going Green

Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Khakimullin Aleksandr
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You hear people all the time talking about “going green,” and it makes you wonder if they even know what “going green” really means. When people say the phrase, they typically use it in the wrong context but that’s okay… the whole point of going green in whatever context you choose is ultimately making environmentally friendly decisions in everything you do, following the guidelines of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” In doing that, did you know that businesses are also hopping on the train of “going green?”

Whether a company is using efficient lighting or showing employee appreciation with custom reusable tote bags, the “trend” of the green movement is definitely a trend that’s not here today and gone tomorrow. It has certainly brought on a wave of environmentally-conscious consumers with its own set of challenges but those challenges aren’t going to make eco-friendly businesses lose interest, if anything, it’s going to make business set their bar even higher to not only make their business practices greener but also their products because if you’re going to “go green,” it’s all or nothing!

What is Green Marketing?

To keep it short and sweet, green marketing is a practice and method of improving the economy and ecology of marketing in all aspects. From forming partnerships with eco-friendly vendors and going paperless to back-end business practices and eco marketing techniques on social media, that just goes to show you that consumers are not only looking at businesses to see how “green” their products are… oh no, consumers are going all-in. They are also looking at the companies that make “green” products, checking to see if the production of their products is environmentally-responsible, and making sure their business practices are sustainable.

Ultimately, the goal of businesses that have or are “going green” is to make “eco-friendly” more than just a product description… they want “eco-friendly” to be part of its entire being.

Challenges Businesses Face With “Going Green”

Every business has challenges, of course, so the same can be said for businesses that have adopted green marketing. The whole thing with green marketing is that it is said that the products being marketed are environmentally safe and as soon as consumers see a business promote that, it’s almost as though it’s their life’s mission to disprove that and that’s when the challenges come into play. Take a look at some of the biggest challenges businesses face in green marketing.

The Need For Standardization

Studies have shown that marketing campaigns that claim to be green are only 5% telling the truth… there’s just not enough standardization to authenticate the claims. So with no standard quality control board or association, there’s no way to truly prove that a product is organic but there are regulations put into place that is getting us closer to green standardization.

A New Concept

Consumers are very aware of what it means to go green and only buy green products but there is still a large percentage who don’t know what it means or what to look for when buying green products. Tons of people are already making environmentally-friendly choices and adopting healthier lifestyles like working out and Yoga but when they can find goods that also coincide with their healthy lifestyle, they’ll be more inclined to buy green products, so new and more appealing concepts are needed to attract more green consumers.

Patience and Perseverance

“Going green” is something that definitely has its challenges but in the business world, the challenges can be defeating, if you let it. Businesses need to look at investing in the environment as a way of investing in the future… Investor will need to have patience because there may not be immediate results but they need to persevere through the challenges because the long-term benefits will greatly pay off.

Green Myopia

Marketing myopia is a short-term focus a business has of selling products without being able to see the “bigger picture” or reality of the long-term success it actually has. According to the Harvard Business Review, anywhere from 75% to 95% of business failures are due to marketing myopia. Well, this marketing nightmare also has a green version… it’s called green myopia.

The main focus of green marketing is the customer benefits of a product… that’s the whole reason why customers buy products in the first place, right? The mindset of a customer is “what can you do for me?” but the mindset of a customer who’s gone green is “prove that your business and products are environmentally-friendly.”

Products that have “green aspects” while the rest is not environmentally-friendly will make customers not trust the product, making the business lose credibility and not pass customer satisfaction… that’s what leads to green myopia.

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