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Green marketing and the risks

05/05/2010

Green marketing, good marketing, eco-marketing, common sense marketing or whatever you would like to call it has always been an area of interest. Earlier this week I read an interesting article in the Marketing Daily from Media Post about how the BP’s “green brand” image has been damage once again due Gulf of Mexico disaster. I remember doing a case study some 6 years ago about how BP changed their image and brand after the Exxon Valdes accident but now unfortunately they are back at the starting point.

This article is a good of example of the risks of green marketing and marketing and branding in general.

My conclusions after this article are:

1) Live up to what you promise – what you say doesn’t count it is what you do that does.
2) In case of an error react quickly and choose the right communication channel to reach the mass.

In my opinion these “rules” are not only for green marketing, in fact they are as relevant for life and marketing in general. Having said that…

3) Some sectors are just not for green marketing.

So what are good practices for green marketing or how do you do green marketing effectively? In the article “3 Keys to Successful Green Marketing” Susan Ward points out three key points.

1) Being genuine
2) Educating your customer
3) Giving your customers an opportunity to participate

I would like to add three points that I think are vital for companies when implementing or succeeding with green marketing.

4) Apply transparency in what you do and what you document
5) Be honest – it is okay not to do everything perfectly the important thing is to strive for continuous improvement
6) Use common sense

In the end, nobody can do miracles over night and therefore it is better to already from the beginning be clear that what really counts are the small but consistent steps towards a constant improvement.

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