Meaning of Green Marketing
Green Marketing refers to the marketing practice of doing promotions for products or services based on their environmental benefits. In simple terms, it involves developing and selling environmentally friendly goods or services. Green marketing is also termed environmental marketing or sustainable marketing. It comprises of all activities that facilitate any exchange meant for the satisfaction of human needs and wants in a way that satisfies the required needs and wants with a minimum negative impact on the natural environment. It is a relatively newer concept focused on the promotion of goods that are safer for the environment.
The primary aim of this type of marketing is to minimize the adverse impact of products, and their consumption and disposal, on the surrounding environment. This means that products should either be eco-friendly or produced in an eco-friendly manner, thereby causing no harm to the environment. For example, Whole Foods is an American supermarket chain owned by Amazon and is well-known for selling a range of organic products. These products do not contain any hydrogenated fats, sweeteners, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Advantages of Green Marketing
Various advantages of green marketing are as follows: –
Appeals to a new market
Companies utilizing green marketing strategies can easily attract distinct demographics. Nowadays, consumers are getting aware and paying great attention to how large corporations are affecting the environment. They want to know how a product is made and what will be its impact on the world they live in, during its usage. Therefore, green marketing assist companies in attracting such a set of conscious customers. Also, it enables them in competing with other competitors in the market who might not have implemented environmentally friendly practices.
Lowers overhead costs
The usage of sustainable materials or transitioning to an environmentally conscious production process can help companies in lowering their overhead expenses. They can decrease their monthly operating expenses substantially by adopting energy and water-efficient techniques. Using sustainable raw materials can cut down waste disposal costs as well. Even the usage of eco-friendly materials in the construction of offices, warehouses, and manufacturing sites can save large money for companies in the long run, as they will require less maintenance and upkeep.
Raises profitability and brand loyalty
Companies that are first to offer green products or services in the market are able to benefit enormously from this approach. This can assist companies in standing out from their competitors, as customers that are environmentally conscious prefer brands with sustainable promises over others. Therefore, the concept of green marketing assists business enterprises in effectively rebranding their products for raising profitability and brand loyalty.
Helps the environment
Green marketing not only helps companies to garner more profit and gain more loyal customers but also helps the planet. Companies following thoroughly their sustainable promises can greatly help in slowing down climate change and conserving the environment. From the production phase to the final consumption phase, they sincerely take into consideration the environmental impact of their products which helps in avoiding lots of emissions.
Disadvantages of Green Marketing
The disadvantages of green marketing are listed below: –
Change leads to costs
The change of marketing tactics takes a lot of time and the development of a newer strategy translates into increased costs for businesses. Although sustainable efforts and practices are designed for saving money, when companies put in efforts for switching their brand to more environment-friendly practices then those changes can have large upfront costs.
Relatively newer concept
Green marketing is a relatively newer concept and also, being extremely green can’t always be a profitable solution. It may not always succeed from a profit standpoint as both the positive environmental and social impacts can leave long-lasting impressions. However, such impressions don’t do much, in case, if the business goes bankrupt.
Costly green certifications
Commercializing of products as green depends upon the industry in which a business is and they might need to go through the long and costly process for obtaining the environmental certifications. Such certifications that are issued by government bodies, industry associations, professional associations, and consumer rights groups, use distinct types of certifications for meeting environmental standards. This is especially true for companies dealing in the field of energy consumption and recycling waste management. Respecting of all such standards can be both difficult and costly, and that remains the major disadvantage of green marketing.
Green marketing brings a lot of benefits for business, and therefore many big organizations try to look ‘greener’ but the majority of them are just greenwashing. Just for the sake of promotion, brands show themselves as green but in reality, they are not doing anything like that. This is referred to as greenwashing. It means companies will make something that is not sustainable by nature but shows them green by putting all of the attention on little detail. For example, disposable water companies are very harmful to the environment. Yet, they claim that their packaging is 100% recyclable but still their entire production process is much polluting that they can’t be a sustainable business.