There are certain buzzwords in any industry that some find bothersome. For example, the term, “Pre-owned” as a euphemism for used in the automotive business has always made me a little crazy. A pre-owned car is new. It hasn’t been owned yet, it’s pre-owned. If it is simply previously owned by someone else that isn’t you, then it has been used.
Now that I’ve got that out…
“Green Marketing” is one of those buzz terms for the advertising industry that gets to me in a similar way. I’ve heard this term used in multiple ways, which probably adds to why it is so bothersome. Some use it as a marketing badge of honor, as in “This company only uses 100% recycled material.” In other words, they are marketing the fact that the company is green. Others have used it as a process by which they market, as in “We only want to advertise in non-print, energy efficient ways.” In this way, they are publishing their marketing in green ways.
Both are great ideas, that have been overdone in many cliche ways. Images of your logo with leaves sprouting, or of hands gently cupping a growing tree, a recycling symbol superimposed over your logo, etc. have all been done a lot. If you are trying to reach a new audience, these will most likely not work.
A customer’s willingness to do business with a specific brand or company has a hierarchy, with certain factors outweighing others. For 99% of your customers, they are:
- Perceived value.
- Ease of obtaining/using product or service.
- Environmental impact of brand/company.
In other words, a company needs to sell a product or offer a service that has the best value, with the easiest usage, first and second. Although I list environment third, it’s a far third. In the mind of your customer, it’s most likely like this:
|You correctly assumed the green slice is the environmental impact.
Unless your business is tied with your competition on the other two fronts, I wouldn’t suggest focusing a ton of marketing on the green front. If your company is in need of some public relations messaging, or you are trying to wok on some brand loyalty, it can be useful, but as a tool to drive new business, it isn’t high on the recommendation list.