Environmental marketing – the green (competitive) advantage

26 Jul

Environmental marketing – the green (competitive) advantage

By environmental marketing, green marketing, Social media marketing, sustainability

Green marketing or Environmental marketing in a nutshell means the marketing of “environmentally friendly” products. Of course, we are not talking about a new born concept; green marketing has been around since 80’s, when the world first heard of CSR (corporate social responsibility). Basically it relies on a product’s demonstrably lower carbon footprint compared to competitors’. Of course, the entire production process must be considered (manufacture, packaging and transport) in order to truly analyze a product’s carbon footprint.

Since then the concept evolved and now we even have Green Guides, a document issued by the Federal Trade Comission to provide principles generally applicable to environmental claims used in marketing. While the USA are the first to specifically name it this way, up until now the Europe Union was reluctant to issue a set of harmonizing principles and rules that specifically govern "environmental/green marketing".

Although a relatively new tool, Green marketing is used by an increasing number of companies trying to reach out to an environmental conscious target public as well as by those involved in polluting manufacturing processes (and therefore interested in improving their corporate image with the general public).

Here are some of my favorite examples of how companies promoted brands that contribute to sustainable consumption:

Procter&Gamble launched in 2005 the campaign Tide Coldwater Challenge, that aimed to convert 70 percent of total washing machine loads to cold water by 2020 thanks to the first detergent designed especially for cold water.


Photo source https://news.pg.com/

It was a huge, nationwide campaign that included national advertising, in-store programs, product sampling, a strong internet presence, consumer promotions and strategic alliances. Here are some of the key features:

  • A Facebook sweepstakes, running today through May 13 at http://www.facebook.com/futurefriendly , invites the public to wash in the cold water for the chance to win prizes from P&G each week;
  • A strategic alliance with Save Energy Affiliation
  • TV advertising campaign developed by Saatchi & Saatchi
  • PR: Tide Coldwater will donate $100,000 to the National Fuel Funds Network, an organization that assists state and local groups helping low income families pay their energy bills.

SunChips - Healthier for you. Healthier for the earth. Are you hungry for change?

Photo source: http://goo.gl/Foyvfl

In 2008, Frito-Lay North America started producing the packaging for their multigrain SunChips snacks with the help of solar energy.  Using this technology, Frito-Lay are now producing 1 million bags per day in 2 of their 8 American facilities.

In order to promote this effort, Frito-Lay created a dedicated page on SunChips website, Our Planet, where they are explaining the whole concept.

In addition, for Earth Day 2010, Frito-Lay North America created a Compostable Chip Bag, made from corn. The new bag made a lot of buzz in the media. The design had two versions, the second one having the unusual advantage of being not only bio-degradable, but also quieter. (as a result of the consumers complaints that the bags were simply too loud).

In 2000, Toyota launches its new Prius, the first full hybrid electric car. Since then Toyota travelled a long way, and the results are remarkable: The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy named the Toyota Prius compact hybrid the "greenest" car for 2013.

Here are a few points from the Prius’ $1 million marketing campaign:

  • TV advertising
  • Beautiful print ads
  • Social media. Eg. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/prius
  • Reinforcements by celebrity appearances: organized by the Environmental Media Association: Leonardo DiCaprio and Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • A supplemental campaign, “Genius,” emphasized the car’s lighter environmental footprint.
  • In 2010 Toyota planted in various urban centers 18-foot tall solar flowers that should state "Harmony between Man, Nature, and Machine." The flowers provided seating for up to ten people, laptop and cell phone recharging stations and access to free wireless internet services.

The result was that more than half (53%) of respondents in a poll conducted by Toyota were aware of Toyota’s green marketing initiatives.

Green Marketing is a fast growing niche as the consumers become more and more aware of how their consumption impacts the environment. Now, can You name a green brand?


Featured image source: google.com


Share this post


See all