As more and more consumers get behind the green cause, more and more companies have followed suit, trying to make their companies greener in order to gain traction with eco-aware consumers everywhere.
Many of these companies, like choosesolar.com, do so completely sincerely, crating products that are solely designed to use fewer resources, lower carbon emissions, and make the world a better place, while some do not. Some companies prefer to use greenwashing to hide their less than eco-friendly practices, while hopefully still getting eco-conscious consumers onboard. Sometimes they do this knowingly, sometimes they do so accidentally, but either way, this process is known as greenwashing and it is really bad for business.
Using greenwashing in your marketing will almost certainly backfire spectacularly when consumers become aware that some of your claims may not exactly be accurate, throwing your brand into disrepute and turning off many green-minded customers from ever purchasing anything from you again.
So, it’s safe to say that greenwashing is best avoided in your marketing efforts, but how exactly do you do that?
1. Tell the Whole Truth
It can be tempting to trumpet the fact that your product doesn’t use any single-use plastics in the manufacturing and claiming that your business is a sustainable one, while hiding the fact that it does contain, for example, soy products from an unsustainable source.
After all, getting rid of plastic is a good thing, but the fact of the matter is, that good thing has been negated by the bad that comes from using unsustainable soy, which means, when the consumers find out, they will be less than impressed with your claims of being a wholly sustainable business. Lay everything out sincerely and you may not be lauded as the greenest company ever, but you won’t be accused of greenwashing either.
2. Provide Proof
If you only use sustainable soybeans in your products, prove it. Get your products certified by a reliable third-party organization so that there can be no doubt that the claims you are making are 100 percent true.
3. Avoid Being Vague
When you’re marketing to green consumers, you need to know that they really know their stuff so using vague phrases like “all-natural” to claim a product is healthy and green, when that doesn’t necessarily mean everything in the product is good for the consumer or that it was harvested in an ethical, eco-friendly way, isn’t going to wash. You need to get as specific as possible about what your product does and why it is eco-friendly or you will be taken to task about it.
4. Don’t Lie
Making false claims that your product is sustainable or not tested on animals is a sure-fire way to get publicity, but it’s not going to be the kind of publicity you want. It really is as simple as that.
5. Avoid Fake Labeling
In a similar vein, adding a bunny that kind of looks like the cruelty-free bunny so that consumers will think your brand is cruelty-free or adding the dreaded eco-preferred ribbon on your label which is basically meaningless, to your products is a bad move. You might fool some people, but you won’t fool most.
Be honest, make your business the best version of itself it can be, and be really clear with your labeling and you should be able to avoid greenwashing claims pretty well!