7 Strategies for Green Marketing Success

November 1, 2012 by Frontline Copy

7 Strategies for Green Marketing Success
Putting together a green marketing plan?

It’s pretty complex when you’re marketing to people who are environmentally and socially aware.

But if you use the eco-marketing strategies Jacquelyn Ottman sets out in her book, "The New Rules of Green Marketing", you’ll have won half the battle.

These strategies, Ottman suggests, make up “The new green marketing paradigm.” Here they are:

Align your product with the deeply-held environmental and social beliefs of the people you’re talking to.

Remember that green consumers demand affordability and performance as well as social fairness and minimal carbon footprint.

Make sure your green product offers practical benefits while connecting with important issues that affect your customers’ lives.

Be transparent.  Establish credibility with the people buying your product by showing your commitment to green values.

Carve out a competitive edge through proactive commitment to resolving social and environmental problems.

Embrace the big picture by underscoring community involvement with your customers as well as the rest of the world.

And , as Ottman puts so eloquently …

“Don’t quit. Promote responsible product use and disposal practices.
Continuously strive for zero impact.”

Who's doing it right?

One company putting these strategies to work,  lining up with new consumer consciousness, is Method.

Two under-30 men started Method in 1999. They had decided it was time to clean up the world with “a line of environmentally-friendly cleaning and personal-care products that are safe for every home and every body.”

Seven years later Inc. magazine rated Method 7th on its list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. By 2008 Method had increased its market share in all their product categories -- even though some of their prices were as much as 30% above their competitors.

How did they do that? An obvious answer is that they’ve incorporated Ottman’s seven green marketing strategies in their marketing plan.

As Ottman notes, what differentiates them is that while companies like Tide and Palmolive sell products, Method sells a cleaning experience encompassing:

  • Fun
  • Social awareness & community
  • Design
  • Commitment to sustainability
  • Performance & safety
  • Corporate transparency

But that’s not all.

Amazingly, their marketing strategy includes little or no paid advertising.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Method launched its first paid media “Say no to jugs” campaign unveiling its new 8x concentrated laundry liquid. The campaign was aimed directly at competitors addicted to what Method called a “jug habit” and appealed to consumers to support a “jug-free America” by using Method’s product.

Essential marketing tools

User engagement is a key element in Method’s marketing toolkit.

Online, Method uses Facebook, Twitter and Flickr to provide space for fans to make suggestions about products and participate in contests. And their “People Against Dirty” campaign has over 5,000 people following a blog that informs readers about design updates, product previews, sustainability concerns and environmental issues.

Perhaps the most innovative offline techniques Method has used to promote people engagement are the Cleaning Tours it runs in major cities like New York and Chicago.

When a Method Cleaning Tour hits town, street corner pop-up Method shops appear where people can swap an old toxic cleaner for a free Method cleaner. And Tour staffers throw “detox parties” in private homes where guests get to try out free Method products in the “plastic bag rehab” gift totes they are given for attending the party.

All Method’s marketing strategies fall within Ottman’s new green marketing paradigm. And they’re working big time.

Why not make these ideas part of your green marketing plan?

 

The New Rules of Green Marketing[For more discussion on key elements of successful green marketing, see Jacquelyn Ottman’s book, “The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding,” Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (2011). See how well you understand and address these strategies by taking the test on p. 55.]

 

 

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