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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > “Green Marketing“ – only a buzz word?

Thursday, 23 May 2019

“Green Marketing“ – only a buzz word?

Thursday, 14 January 2016 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

"Green Marketing” – this buzz word sounds good. It sounds like sustainability, environmental awareness, doing the right thing. While collecting topics for the American Coatings Show 2016 Daily, someone came up with the idea to discuss "Green Marketing” in one of the issues. I happily accepted the suggestion, but then I started asking myself: "What exactly is "Green Marketing” in the first place?

When I did a Google search, I immediately received this Wikipedia entry: "Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally preferable to others.” That’s only one definition, but it sounds logical to me.

Controversial approach

The consultants at PwC emphasize that the "Green Marketing” strategy is a controversial issue. According to them, supporters point out that the purchase behaviour of consumers has changed in that sustainable products are demanded more and more (sustainability – another buzz word that has been discussed for years, but so far has not led to a general definition). This group of buyers is also open for "Green Marketing” measures, the consultants say.

Critics, on the other hand, believe the majority of consumers are not convinced that the quality of "green” products is as good as that of conventional ones. In addition, environmentally friendly products are seen as more expensive than their conventional counterparts. All in all, it doesn’t seem to be clear whether "Green Marketing” can really be effective.

Typical characteristics

Well then, what are the typical characteristics of this marketing strategy? Straightaway, I’m thinking of renewable raw materials and production processes, short delivery distances, observation of environmental standards, ecolabels, eco-friendly packaging materials, recycling, and waste reduction. Of course, there are more aspects than these. Should social features like fair payment and decent working conditions be included as well?

Information about all this is necessary, as companies obviously want their consumers, clients, the public to know that they focus on environmental friendliness and sustainability. You can read it in brochures, sustainability reports, but also in large-sized advertisements in newspapers and journals. Further means are TV commercials and radio ads.  

Changed requirements

I think that companies taking their clients’ changed requirements seriously – and the consumers’ interest in responsibly produced and environmentally friendly products is definitely growing - should be open for these new marketing strategies. They should specify for themselves what "Green Marketing” could mean for their companies and should then try to implement these measures – with credibility and transparency. I believe this could lead to a sharpened profile as well as to advantages in competition.

What’s your opinion?

What do you think about "Green Marketing”? – is this only marketing talk or an effective competition strategy? Do you already use "green” marketing methods? What do you expect from that? I would be happy to hear about your opinion. Please write to me at kirsten.wrede@vincentz.net.

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