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5 Tips for Marketing Your Sustainability

You’ve just launched a new green product and want to start promoting it to potential customers, media outlets and business partners. In many ways, promoting this sustainable offering differs little from how you would market anything else your company makes. However there are some key differences to keep in mind.

To help you out, we’ve put together this list of five tips to make sure you cover all the key points.

1)     Stay positive

Nobody wants to be shamed by their current habits and research has proven that trying to guilt people into buying a service or product has little effect. When marketing your latest and greatest green offering, tell a positive story about how it saves energy and uses fewer non-renewable resources than conventional options. Focus on the benefits of ownership and not the negatives of other choices. Customers will respond to the upbeat, positive messages and will be more likely to share happy stories with friends and coworkers than tales of doom and gloom.

2)    Back up claims with data

The last thing you want to do when promoting your new eco-friendly product is make a false or unverifiable claim. As with any false advertising claim, you can be sued for making them. To ensure you won’t be held liable for any green assertions, be sure to review your product’s green attributes for accuracy. Don’t exaggerate sustainable aspects of the invention, be sure to take it as a whole and be honest with your target audiences. If at all possible, have the data readily available to back up any claims you make – it can be a lifesaver if any legal teams or regulatory agencies come knocking.

3)    Get certified

Research non-profit or government entities that may be able to provide your product or service with an “ecolabel.” Adding a green certification logo to your product speaks for itself and can be included on packaging and in advertisements. With someone else speaking to the sustainability of your offering, all your other statements are backed up and come across stronger to potential clients and customers. The Small Business Administration has some great links to the many types of certifications available – both domestic and international.

4)    Shop locally

“Made in America” labels may have taken on new importance to many during the recent economic downturn as an important way to keep money in the U.S. economy, but the latest trends have been on an even smaller scale. The current movement toward buying local extends well beyond farmer’s markets, neighborhood boutiques and family-owned restaurants. Procuring the materials needed to manufacture your innovation from nearby sources not only saves on energy needs and carbon emissions due to transportation, it helps prove how green your product really is. Being locally sourced is one more sustainability claim you can make in all your marketing materials.

5)    Utilize sustainable ad media

It may seem like a no-brainer but when you’re marketing your new energy saving device, don’t put its name up in neon lights that can be seen from miles around. Green services and products should be marketed through sustainable methods. Any printed ads should be made on post-consumer waste recycled paper. Email newsletters, online advertisements and social media are excellent, eco-friendly channels preferable to mailers and bill inserts. Packaging should also be both recyclable and from recycled sources if possible. Sustainable products are only truly green if their entire product cycle from production, marketing and sales through to delivery, use and disposal is energy efficient and carbon footprint minimizing.

Are you already promoting your latest and greatest as sustainable to everyone who will listen? We’d love to hear about it! Click the button below to share your story with us and we’ll publish it in our next newsletter.

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