Green Marketing means the marketing of consumer products that are deemed to be safe for the environment, according to the American Marketing Association. So, green marketing can be seen to cover a wide range of tasks such as the modification of products, changing the production process, changes to the packaging of the product, as well as the modification of advertisement. But still, the definition of green marketing is not so simple a task due to the intersection and contradiction of more than one meaning. For instance, there is the factor of the changing environmental, social and retail definitions associated with it. The similar terminology includes Ecological Marketing and Environmental Marketing. Green marketing is different from these as it is associated with the process of the selling of products or services as per the environmental benefits they offer. It may be that the product is friendly to the environment or its packaging may have been done in an environment-friendly manner. The whole idea behind this is that the customer is expected to buy into the product’s manner of being green and this will influence their buying decision. A hidden objective in this is to make sure that the customer does not mind having to pay more for the “greener” product as compared to its “non-green” counterpart.
While in recent times green marketing has seen rapid growth with more and more consumers willing to invest in environment-friendly alternatives, the idea has its disadvantages as well. People need to be more aware and skeptical of claims to utilize green technologies and companies may end up causing themselves serious harm in terms of reputation if their claims to the greenways fall short of expectations and promises. This is where the term “Green Washing” comes in. Greenwashing is the portrayal of a product as green when it is not, in fact, green.
For effective green marketing, three things are very important. The first is to be genuine. This means to back up the green marketing campaign with delivered results and to have business policies inconsistency with what is environment-friendly. This is necessary for the green marketing campaign to be a success. The second is educating the customers as to why the green marketing concept is important, as ignorance on the matter can cause the green marketing venture to fail. The third is the capacity provided to customers to participate by personalizing the advantages of environment-friendly ventures by letting them be a part of it.
The challenges due to the idea of green marketing for consumers and marketing specialists are a lack of proper definition of green marketing, the need of comprehension of the relationships of factors that affect the environment, and the covert and overt causes of concern for issues like these. It has been put forth that green marketing can be used by unscrupulous people in marketing simply for making money.