The truth is, many companies are a little bit of both. Green industry is still on the upswing, and the market is big enough to interest all types of business. However, as more companies get into it for the money, consumers are becoming pickier about who they use and why.
Almost anything can be found online – so not only do you have to be registered with the Green Business Bureau, but you also need to show exactly what makes you green and how you incorporate it into your business. It’s not enough to just say you’re a green business and call it a day. Follow these 5 essential tips to effectively market your green business.
- Define “green” based on your customers
“Green” means something different to each business, depending on your industry. Some businesses will sell green products, some are working to initiate green practices into the general population, and some are working to create breakthroughs that can overhaul an entire industry. Whatever your particular shade of green is, make sure your customers know all about it.
Ford, as an example, was traditionally known for big trucks with a lot of power that took a lot of gas. When they decided to tap into the green market, they did so in a way that was believable for their customers, and that matched who they were as a company. They developed the EcoBoost line, which matched their developing needs and showed them as being progressive and flexible within a new market.
Even though they weren’t traditionally green, they found a way to make it and define it for their customers in a way that made sense for their market.
- Be transparent
Be like glass. If you’re doing something that you don’t want your customers to know about, consider why you don’t want them to know. If you’re just trying to avoid an influx of competition, fine. However, if it’s something that might look a bit shady, you should probably find a new way to go. Greenwashing is never worth it in the end.
Additionally, many consumers, especially the Millennial demographic, now have a pretty deep mistrust of companies. It was a fairly inevitable side effect of the housing bubble, since so many people lost jobs or couldn’t find jobs. Just try to keep that in mind when you’re looking at the consumer base. The more of your company you allow people to see, the more trust you’ll build.
- Get certified
This is far and above your best way to show your company “walking the talk.” The certification you get will, of course, depend on your industry, but it really does make a difference.
If you get certified, make sure people know! There are so many companies that have spent the time and money to get certified and they only have one tiny little icon on their website or print materials to indicate it. Show it off, broadcast it! Have a “Green Certification Sale” and tell people what it takes to become certified.
- Be valuable
This doesn’t mean you need to be the most expensive item on the block. It means you and your organization need to provide value. There are many ways, and many companies that excel at appearing to provide value. Makeup and the fast food industry are both good examples of industries that are good at pretending to add value, but don’t really contribute to much beyond their own shareholders.
Google, however, has worked to green their company in ways that ensure they both provide valuable services and benefit the environment by supporting renewable power. They also use their massive resources to drive innovation in the green sector.
You probably don’t have the resources of Google, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give back to your community and support the environment. A good business provides value for the community, and a great business provides a good value to the world. Strive to be great.
- Walk the talk
The entire product cycle is important. Making a genuine attempt at using other companies that are good to their employees and the environment is important, both to your consumers and to your competitors.
If you do get certified as green, then that will account for some of the product life cycle. However, it doesn’t cover everything. The rest is up to you. Some small things will help – such as avoiding contributions to companies that don’t fit with your organization’s standards.