Corporate Eye

5 Ways to Position Your Brand as Eco-Friendly

eco-friendly-brand-mugBy positioning your brand as eco-friendly, you’re accomplishing two goals.  First, you’re getting on board with a popular trend, and second, you’re helping to save the planet.  That’s a good combination!  But what steps can a company take to position a brand as being green?  Take a look at the suggestions below to get started.  It’s easier than you might think to be able to tell consumers your brand is green.

1. Your Company has to be Green Internally First

The first step to repositioning your brand as eco-friendly is to make changes inside.  Your customers aren’t going to believe messages claiming your brand is green if your employees don’t even recycle.  Instead, make sure that your employees are with you in your efforts. 

  • Encourage recycling.
  • Use recycled products.
  • Encourage telecommuting.
  • Reduce travel by using more video conferencing and webinars.
  • Choose to work with suppliers, distributors, and business partners who are eco-friendly.
  • Initiate internal programs to encourage and reward eco-friendly living.
  • Appoint employee advocates to lead the effort.
  • Pursue ways to reduce electricity consumption in your office.
  • And so on.

2. Make Your Marketing Eco-Friendly

Your marketing materials are one of the first ways consumers will see your green messages.  Make sure those materials eco-friendly.

  • Print marketing materials on recycled paper and materials.
  • Use eco-friendly trade show booth materials, giveaways, etc.
  • Choose eco-friendly promotional items that further the green message.
  • Reduce direct mail and use email instead.
  • Create marketing promotions that reward green living or are tied to green events, organizations, charities, etc.

3. Get Involved Externally

In order to position your brand as eco-friendly, it’s important to participate in community out-reach.  Volunteer at local eco-friendly events.  Encourage employees to participate in events (even during work time).  Donate to environmental charities or sponsor events.  Attend trade shows, conferences, and so on. 

4. Be a Leader

Once your brand is actually living its eco-friendly promise, you can position it as a leader in the green movement.  Rather than just participating in the events listed in #3, lead them through executive appearances and speeches at eco-friendly conferences, trade shows, and so on.  Have your brand managers participate in panel discussions, interviews, and more.  Host eco-friendly speakers, training sessions, educational seminars, etc.  The key is for your brand representatives to not just be joiners but experts in eco-friendly business based on actual experience.  Eventually, your brand will gain a reputation as being green and become the benchmark for other brands to emulate.

5. Create a Competitive Advantage

Once you’ve successfully positioned your brand as green from the inside out, it’s time to take that eco-friendly message to consumers.  Craft marketing messages that point to your brand’s position as a leader in the green movement.  The messages will resonate with a wide variety of consumers from all over the world who equate eco-friendly with integrity, morality, responsibility and trust.  It’s just one more way you can build a connection with consumers while differentiating your brand from the competition.  And it’s also the right thing to do.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

Hi,

I’m working on the goodie bags for our upcoming annual Pink Tie Affair for Susan G. Komen for the Cure North Jersey Affiliate, held in November. I am responsible for finding companies who can donate perhaps 50-100 eco-friendly items for our goodie bags (we have a total of 500 goodie bags but whatever we can get helps tremendously for now).

Do you have any recommendations? I am having difficulty and time is running out..

Thank you so much :)

Best,
Tay

Hi Taylor

Have you tried the HARO approach? Help A Reporter Out (Peter Shankman) does a goodie bag request email out to the many thousands of readers every so often (Fridays? I’m sorry, I can’t remember which day it is, or with what frequency, but his team will be able to tell you). This is a great way to reach a lot of people very quickly, connecting journalists with PR people with bloggers with… it’s free, but it works on the honor system. I’m sure a lot of people would like to support a breast cancer charity. Good luck!

Lucy

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