Ecology and the protection of the planet are two subjects, closely linked, which are of growing interest to consumers. Many “green addict” communities are emerging, advocating a healthier and more environmentally friendly way of life.
Consequence: brands and companies are adapting their marketing strategy to capture this new clientele with ecological values.
However, adopting a green marketing approach is a double-edged sword, it is easy to switch to green washing. But these are two very different concepts…
Non au green washing…
A brand must remain faithful to its values and build its proposal around a culture shared with its customers.
That consumers are waking up to the subject of ecology has led some companies to put on an eco-friendly mask, without reviewing their ecological commitments or the composition of their products. This is called green washing.
This technique consists in modifying the packaging , as well as its language elements to appear more “green”. The packaging is endowed with a pretty plant, a flower or a fruit, integrating the composition of the product. Except that this natural ingredient remains in the minority, even synthetic, in the product. But facing the packaging, consumers have the impression of buying an item that is healthy, natural and good for the planet.
…yes to green marketing!
The awakening of the population to ecological issues has caused a real change in certain brands. They have decided to review their ranges, the composition of their products and even their internal ecology policy. Companies that offer their products in an organic version, that modify their recipes or that engage with ecological associations communicate widely on these developments. It’s called green marketing .
The reasons that push these brands to develop their offer often seem commercial. However, their products or services are part of the “green addict” approach, they prevent certain customers from fleeing, while capturing the attention of new customers.
Get started in green marketing
Do you intend to embark on the adventure of green marketing? To avoid falling into green washing, start by asking yourself about your motivations. Green brands, with a genuine commitment that has always been there, are strong competitors that attract the most fervent defenders of ecology.
Before you want to conquer the hearts of green addicts, you will have to do some internal work:
- Implement sustainable business practices
- Demonstrate social responsibility
- Reduce expenses (packaging, transport, energy/water consumption, etc.)
- Engage with an environmental association or movement
But above all, you will have to do a lot of thinking about your products and services, especially their composition.
The green market is closely linked to the organic market. If you settle for measuring spoons internally, without reviewing your offers, you fall into green washing. You must fully integrate the ecological approach into your production process.
Several choices are available to you:
- Develop a new entirely natural or organic range.
- Launch a new brand (organic or natural).
- Review all or part of a large range: remove additives, dyes and any synthetic element to make it more natural.
- Review all of your compositions to gradually switch to a range of 100% organic or natural products.
When you have implemented concrete actions, you will have material to communicate. This is when you can get started in green marketing, without falling into green washing!
Examples of successful green marketing
Concretely, let’s study the communication of 3 brands and companies, which have perfectly grasped the challenges of green marketing to win back their customers.
“Doing good” has long been the slogan of clothing brand Patagonia. Its value proposition? Strong clothes that keep for a long time and can be easily repaired.
The goal? Fight against fast-fashion which consists of regularly renewing your wardrobe by buying only inexpensive clothes, sources of pollution (and whose manufacturing conditions are deplorable).
2019 marked a turning point in Patagonia’s green marketing strategy. Now its slogan is “save the planet”. And the brand does not skimp on concrete actions:
- On Black Friday , Patagonia encouraged customers to donate to its Patagonia Action Works Foundation. The brand is committed to doubling the amount of donations collected. Results ? 20 million dollars were distributed among several associations for the protection of the environment.
- She launched a meeting platform between activists. The goal ? Connect people who want to get involved with NGOs that correspond to their values.
- Patagonia is banking on the circular economy and is currently testing second-hand clothing and accessories stores.
It’s hard to miss Carrefour’s “Act for Food” campaign. The large-scale retailer has made commitments such as offering 100% French organic products, better paying producers, banning 100 controversial substances from their products, helping 500 farmers to convert to organic, reducing packaging…
Admittedly, the approach is to stand out from competitors and increase market share. Nevertheless, Carrefour is taking concrete action. The brand actually sells organic products made in France, has reviewed the composition of these recipes, increased the number of vegetarian references, etc.
This green marketing operation remains a very inspiring model.
The 2 Cows
Young, quirky and organic, the Les 2 Vaches brand wants to listen to consumers. Its communication campaigns play the card of green pastures, animal welfare and respect for the environment. Successful green marketing, since the group behind the brand is… Danone. A company that is not really associated with ecology…
In order to win the hearts of green addicts, the group has decided to launch a new brand, 100% organic. A powerful and clever technique!
Read also : 6 major 2020 trends for effective branding
Green marketing requires above all concrete actions internally. If you want to use this strategy, make sure to align your values with the ecological commitments of the targeted consumers.