We live in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world, and to gain the competitive edge as a business, it's important to align yourself with the principles that people today care about most. Green branding is, as defined by Investopedia, a way for companies to "go above and beyond traditional marketing by promoting environmental core values." By doing this, you're establishing yourself as a sustainable company, one that cares about conservation and responsible business practices in addition to making a profit.
Green branding benefits both the business and the consumer. Consumers tend to be drawn to businesses that share their personal values, and look more favorably on businesses that are doing their part for the planet. Because of this, everyone from small business owners to major corporations are seeking ways to create--and promote--sustainable business models.
Green branding can give you a competitive advantage
Positioning your business as green can help position your company as a leader in the field--you'll be challenging business norms and setting yourself apart from businesses that haven't incorporated sustainability into their brand. It's also a great way to appeal to both the rational and emotional side of your customers by putting emphasis on the environmental benefits of your products. According to Fortune (reporting on Interbrand), "That’s especially true of the millennial generation. In general, they prefer to buy from companies who share their worldview—especially when it comes to the environment. In the decade ahead, those companies that invest in initiatives that help people and the planet as well as their bottom line and who can communicate those efforts effectively will have a competitive edge."
Use products and services you can stand behind
The key to successful green branding is to make sure you have a product or service that backs up your messaging. You want to commit to products that are reliable, are built in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way, and embody other company values (such as being made in America). Additionally, make sure to research and understand the value of the green aspects of your product or business, and back it up with some hard data, which will help to reinforce customers' opinions of your company or even convince those who are skeptical about what green businesses have to offer. This information could always come in the form of a conversation, but to give yourself more credibility, consider sharing valuable, factual information in the form of a white paper or data sheet.
There's no real negative
The benefits of green branding go beyond capturing the public attention of the consumer. Yes, there are those potential customers who are motivated by factors other than the eco-friendliness and environmental impact. But even they recognize green practices as an added benefit that can stretch their return on investment and can make them feel good about where they're spending their money.
Take solar power for example. The most immediate benefit solar array purchasers will see is a decrease in their utility bills--a clear financial incentive to invest in a system, regardless of one's environmental motivations. The fact that solar panels produce and power homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy is just an added bonus.
In short, branding your business as green or sustainable can only help you boost your public image and drive sales, regardless of your industry. As long as you can back this marketing up with quality products and a clear corporate commitment to your message, green branding is an ideal way to set yourself apart and be seen as a leader in your field.