Green Marketing Is Not For Every Company

  • Aug 8, 2012

Is Green Marketing Right For You?

Austin, Texas: It seems that more and more companies have been jumping on the “go green” bandwagon in their advertising and marketing campaigns.

Everything from shoes to toothpaste, appliances, computers, cars and everything in between has a green label or eco-friendly seal of approval.

As I have discussed in past blogs, excessive green labeling only waters down the reality and creates confusion in the marketplace.

I get asked all the time to help companies promote their green message.

Unfortunately, many times there is no green message to promote.

Before you get your marketing team together to come up with a “go green” campaign, think about the message you are trying to portray.

Does your product have a green advantage over its predecessors or competition? If not, why even mention that it is green – or greener – or greenest?

What percentage of the content is made of recycled materials? If it is less than 30-40%, I would steer away from any green claims.

Are you being truthful and transparent in your descriptions? People want transparency. Be honest. Do not make false claims.

Who is verifying your claims? Have you had an independent third-party firm test your products — or did Joe in marketing make your green claims?

Does it pass the smell test? You know the smell test: If it smells like BS, it probably is BS.

Can you be greener? Going green is a journey that can never be reached completely. Every generation or version of your product must continue to be more eco-friendly — or you are going backwards. Which direction are you headed?

Why are you making these green claims? Decide why you want to say that your product is green before you decide to do shout it out to the world. Are you saying your product is green just because one of your competitors has released a biodegradable product and the press is in love with it? Or is it because your product is truly green?

Does your audience even care? Believe it or not, there are some audiences that hav every little interest in the environment – so making green claims may not help at all. Can you think of any?

Can you answer the tough questions when the green press comes calling? To paraphrase a famous quote: You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool the green media. When the green media, bloggers, newspaper and trade publications ask you questions about your green claims, can you answer them honestly and with conviction — or will you run for cover and pretend not to speak your native language?

Let’s stop false declarations in green marketing and green advertising.

Be truthful, open, honest and sincere.

That’s all the public wants.

That’s what we demand.

Does your product pass this green means testing?

If so, then Happy Promoting!

If not, well…back to the drawing board until it does.