“Sustainability, in itself, is not a benefit so it needs to be communicated in addition to the traditional marketing cues that mainstream buyers respond to.”
- Fiona Bennie, Head of Sustainability at Dragon Rouge
Build it and they will come is not a sales and marketing strategy that a company should subscribe to, especially when trying to market green products. Many people who are looking for products are extremely savvy consumers and know when something is legitimate or is smoke and mirrors. Consumers can be skeptical and difficult to change. But it is possible. You just need to understand their mindset to make the connection.
According to research published in The Economic Times, “people are unwilling to buy green products because of doubts over performance ability – most consumers perceive them as being less effective”. Consumers want to be environmentally conscious and buy green products, but with limited funds they want the best available option all around. The biggest bang for their buck in other words.
To sell green, the worst thing to lead with is green. When people hear green, they immediately think less quality, flimsy construction and more expensive. Smaller bang for a bigger buck. Instead, focus on the product’s other pluses. Let’s take the Trodat Printy for example… Durability for longer life, lighter weight for reduced shipping costs, multiple sizes to meet any customer need. Then say it’s carbon-neutral.
The main thing to keep in mind is to be authentic and truthful. Before you begin any type of marketing make sure that your product is actually sustainable. The old magician’s trick of watch one hand but don’t look at the other will not fly. Consumers can eventually see through the smoke screen and know that there is less green in your product than you claimed.
The process of trickery in the sustainable world is called “greenwashing”. Simply put, greenwashing is giving a false impression or providing misleading information on how environmentally friendly your company and/or your products are. If your product is green but produced in a factory that has been cited for being a major polluter, you will lose all credibility. Once your credibility is lost it’s almost impossible to get back. Just remember, the internet is written in ink, not pencil, and it never forgets. When you tell the story make sure there is nothing that can come back and bite you.
Don’t oversell how green your product is or make outrageous comparisons. Saying your product contains 100% more recycled material than its closest competitor sounds amazing. But, if the closest competitor uses only 1% recycled material, then, based on your claim, you are using 2%. Not exactly something one should shout from the mountaintop. While your claim may sound impressive and is technically correct, in the world of green products its not very green.
An often-overlooked part of marketing green products is not the product itself but how you do the outreach. You can do everything right on the manufacturing side and still fail on the marketing side. What good is a green product when all the environmental gains made in production are lost with an outdated marketing campaign? Mailers, catalogs, and flyers have a carbon footprint built into them. Plus, if you are lucky, some of these will be recycled, but many will just end up in a landfill. Digital marketing is a much more cost effective and environmentally friendly way to reach current and potential customers.
With all of this said, how do we sell the environmental advantages that Trodat products offer? As we talked about in the previous post, the most important thing to remember is that Trodat not only talks the talk, we also walk the walk. We have taken to heart a holistic approach to environmentally friendly manufacturing. This makes green marketing easy.
At Trodat, we believe it’s far better to be authentic and truthful than to make claims that sound good but fall short in reality. We are an open book when it comes to the steps we’ve taken to protect the environment. There are no games or greenwashing with Trodat. Every claim we make is backed up by proof and documentation. Part 2 of our Selling Green series detailed what we have done and continue to do. Being a Trodat partner means that the environmental gains we have made can also be your gains. But, also be comfortable in the knowledge that you will be providing your customer with some of the highest quality stamp products in the industry. Not some watered down product just to be eco-friendly.
Not only do we have products that are authentic, we have top notch marketing support that is also green. Our Marketing Kits are great for social media and email campaigns. Every month we offer a new package of marketing materials that you can download and use as you wish. Also, instead of old school printed catalogs, we can make a PDF file of your product offering that you can email to customers or link to your website. Digital marketing is faster, cheaper, and most importantly greener. A printed catalog is a standalone unit, whereas a PDF can multiply as it is shared throughout a company. These marketing options are all available to you. All you need to do is ask!
Many consumers have become disillusioned by green products and marketing that they don’t perceive as honest, and unfortunately, a history of greenwashing has lent some credence to their doubts. However, as a Trodat partner, you can be the exception knowing that with us you are an authentic supporter of the environment while also providing your customers with the best stamp products available.
Did you miss The Advantages of Selling Green Parts 1 and 2? No worries! You can check them out right here:
The Advantages of Selling Green - Part 1: Terminology
The Advantages of Selling Green - Part 2: Lead by Example
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