Green Business Bureau Blog
Green Business Certification Sharpens Marketing Edge
For many years, the green initiative seemed like another lofty ideal with baseless roots that an occasional environmental do-gooder embraced. Gradually environmental leaders shared information and launched constructive programs that added weight to the movement. When green certification programs were added to the mix, a formula for success had a base.
At first, the idea of increased profits and decreased overhead for these green businesses had no form. Gradually, certified green businesses began to realize there were economic, social, environmental and productivity reasons to adapt the green standard and pursue green certification. Then, low and behold, going green became profitable. With profitability, green business certification became appealing to diverse businesses of all types, shapes and sizes.
Buoyed by the prospect of increased productivity, lifted by a responsible environmental position and while discovering newfound profit centers, businesses have swarmed to the green movement. These businesses engage the conversion in three stages:
- Adapt to environmentally conscious initiatives
- Innovate and implement green applications throughout the workplace
- Transform operations to further the sustainable movement
To succeed, the transition will require guidance, oversight and input. Once launched, co-workers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers will need to get on board. Business managers have been surprised by the positive, enthusiastic response of workers and, just as importantly, consumers.
Some consumers have become skeptical of businesses that falsely claim green operations. The first step in the company’s green awareness program is to set a course that attains green certification. Employees and consumers will respect and endorse the commitment.
The second step is complete implementation of the policies within the framework of the green certification. Part of that implementation includes building a green marketing program. Within the fulfillment of this green certification program lays an expanded customer base and dramatically expanded sales.
Think of it this way; going green increases productivity and reduces operating costs while green marketing expands the customer base and opens new doors for services and products. With the Obama Administration focusing on green incentives, green marketing is a natural progression of the green certification process.
Building A Green Marketing Plan
Be creative, be goal oriented and be consistent. Let your green certification show the way. Statistics bear out that consumers respond favorably to businesses that are green certified and who stand behind the commitment.
The company’s green certification is testimony to your verified commitment to a healthier planet, a more positive work environment and a clean, safe and conscientious product line. For businesses that abide by their green certification, there is a new world of opportunity ahead.
Marketing By Example
The key to opening that new world of opportunity is to get word of the company’s green transformation on the table and visible. Of course, the marketing plan will reflect this new green commitment, so minimize the paperwork. Start learning to market via new technology and with presentation discs. Every aspect of a green marketing plan should be an exemplary demonstration of green awareness.
Even as a certified green business, consumers may be skeptical. While consumers want to utilize green products and green services, they have been misled before. It is imperative that newly certified green businesses quickly establish themselves as role models and deliver that message loud and clear. This is not a piecemeal, work-in-progress, rather it is a profitable business strategy
This is an aspect of the marketing plan that can go public. Unlike other marketing concepts, with a little bit of initiative, constant monitoring and creative applications, this “green model” marketing approach can gain immediate and resounding support on both local, state and national levels.
Take Green Marketing Public
Going green means analyzing every aspect of the business. It may involve tough decisions and may mean changing suppliers, providers, re-packaging, changes to the workplace, developing new distribution methods and a hoist of other projects. What green certified companies soon discover is that employees and customers are watching. These participants want the green movement to succeed. They will constantly be a source of innovative ideas.
As part of the company’s green marketing strategy, encourage this form of participation. Develop a web log where new green ideas are shared, discussed and advanced. If the idea works, implement it. Give green credit where green credit is due.
If a viable green suggestion is implemented, reward the originator. Develop a press release and drive the message to the public. Make your green certification a public matter and publicly celebrate advances. The marketing strategy will always welcome new members to their green team.
Local, state and national communities as well as all forms of media are listening and constantly discussing exciting new green developments. For valuable free publicity, green marketers maintain an ongoing presence with all these entities, every one of which wants the company’s story.
Green Marketers Make Changes
Achieving green certification is just the beginning. Businesses look inward first and outward second. Consumers notice everything, but they need to be reminded and re-assured. Green marketing develops strategies that constantly caress and sometimes insist on compliance. This tough love strategy is a measure of the company’s commitment. In the long run, it will be remembered and, even more importantly, admired.
Change everything that is not sustainable. Include a green message in the company’s new slogan. Minimize paper usage, maximize recycling, only use green products and offer green education internally and externally. Let the public know that the business is a ready willing and able green citizen.
Pursue Green Business
Green marketers are aware of new green development and new green programs, especially the numerous government incentives. It is no surprise that the Obama Administration is taking the government green, promoting green jobs and initiatives and willing to, pay for the above.
Green marketers keep their green certification and green initiatives in front of government agencies. Just like Rome, green businesses are not built in a day. But, they do not expand in a cocoon.
By publicizing the company’s green improvements and maintaining the green business certification, the marketing department is opening the door to local, state and federal opportunities.
As Ray Cassella said in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” The marketing strategy of the certified green business knows that, but realizes that delivering the message is as important as delivering the green goods. Yes, if you build it they will come, but if you live it, breathe it and exemplify it, they will come in droves. Sounds better doesn’t it?