Understanding Green Marketing

I once asked my training audience on how they would react to a Coca Cola can which is green in color!  Most of them could not even resonate with the idea and they say, I can’t imagine a coke can in green.

But then that is the impact of Green Marketing that has suddenly gained so much of momentum that almost every business and brand is talking about Going Green – in practice, in campaigns and internally as well.

paper hat #3Creative Commons License Pic by goldsardine

Sometimes, it does looks like a hoax, hoax because the very idea of green marketing is not clear.

According to American Marketing Association, “green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe.” It is also known as Ecological or Environmental Marketing. The popular name for Green Marketing in the corporate world is however, Sustainable Marketing. We can put it in a way that the Corporates today are looking for Green /Sustainable Ideas and the Consumer is looking for Green/Organic products.

With Green Marketing becoming popular, more and more brands are trying to become – Green Brands. Green Brands are presumably those brands that consumers associate with environmental conservation and sustainable business practices. So we can say – just the green marketing will not work unless the product/service has adopted greener practices.

Before we discuss the Green Marketing – phenomena, practice & effect we need to understand that Sustainable Marketing is an assorted term. Just a ‘save environment’ campaign doesn’t signifies green marketing. Almost all the consumers are aware of the necessity of protecting the environment they live in. So we can say, the following are the four criteria which would suggest whether a business in sustainable or not –

  1. It incorporated the sustainable principles, in all the business decisions.
  2. It offers environmentally safe products and even work towards replacing the demand for non-green products
  3. It is actually green beyond the traditional competition.
  4. It operates pertaining to the environmental norms.

And most importantly, a green marketer should make sure that the enterprise they are talking about must not leave a negative impact on the global or local environment.


Green and Sustainable and Eco-friendly and Environmentally Safe

Paper or Plastic? Washing by hand or Dishwasher? Disposable Diapers or Reusable Cloth Diapers?

A decade back – Green Marketing as a concept was complicated rather confusing, Some of the basic confusions were like –

Now the Big Question – Why turn Green?

Green is cool and trendy

Green is cool. Unlike a decade ago when the green was resisted and nor trusted upon. Green in now trendy & cool – right from the products offered in the marketing & the packaging, green is chic and finally reaching its place the form of a defined customer segments.

Green suggests you are informed

A customer who prefers green products is considered – informed. Because green is a choice which shows you know the environment and you understand the good & bad of a product. A green consumer is known to buy quality for the difference he is able to understand between a green and non-green offering.

Green is a premium brand not mere positioning statement

Today people understand that a green product is equal or even better than a non-green product and that’s why they are ready to pay a premium price. The benefits are worth it. And moreover it is answer to important consumer need- sustainability.

Green means authentic

Now with the brands turning transparent in communication, green signifies authenticity. Almost all the generations of consumers are turning green. The green marketing has worked fine in helping the consumers fight the earlier confusions about green.



Lastly, a glimpse on ‘McDonald Europe’ story to emphasize – how significant it has become for the marketer to make their brands – Go Green

  • McDonald’s is swapping out the red in its logo for “a deep hunter green” to tout its environmental credentials in Europe.
  • The company has warmed to “greener” practices, including environmentally friendly refrigeration and converting used oil into bio-diesel fuel.
  • “With this new appearance we want to clarify our responsibility for the preservation of natural resources. In the future we will put an even larger focus on that,” Hoger Beek, vice chairman of McDonald’s Germany, said in the statement.
  • Leaving aside the fundamental un-sustainability of the fast food industry as a whole, this is not to say that there is nothing behind McDonald’s claims of environmental action — the company is working on green buildings, electric vehicles and published a report earlier this year highlighting its best green efforts.

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