These days, consumers are more concerned than ever before with finding ways to be environmentally responsible. That concern extends to every area of their lives and it can have a significant impact on their buying decisions.
For environmental companies, it’s important to do a good job of branding themselves so that the public understands what they stand for. Environmentalism takes many different forms, but your branding and marketing must reflect the values you represent if you want to connect with your target audience.
Green Branding in a Digital World
As a green company, your message may – at least on the surface – appear to be at odds with digital marketing. Your products or services are rooted in the earth, not in a connection of wires and circuits.
However, no company can afford to ignore digital marketing in this day and age. You have to find a way to connect your green goals with your audience, which is online and primed to connect with companies digitally.
Key Branding Concerns for Green Companies
Let’s talk first about some of the key branding concerns for environmental companies. Your goals may be to reaffirm your connection to the earth while also demonstrating your ability to innovate.
Many green companies want to convey traits like reliability, compassion, responsibility, and trust. They choose their branding elements, including their logos, with those things in mind.
Logo Design Elements
With any logo, there are three main elements to consider. The colors, shapes, and fonts all play a part in conveying your brand’s message to your target audience.
By far the most common color chosen for green company logos is, not surprisingly, green. We associate green with environmental causes and growing things. However, other common colors include blue, brown, and sometimes yellow.
Circles are commonly selected for green companies because they symbolize completion and renewal. They also represent safety.
For many green companies, simplicity is the key when it comes to choosing a font. You don’t want your font to take away from your central message, so a modern Sans Serif font may be the best choice.
This logo we designed for a green company is a good representation of many of the most common logo design elements that green companies require.
Let’s break it down. The colors chosen here are green, blue, and yellow. Taken together, they offer the brain a shortcut representation of the earth. The green represents earth, the blue represents water, and the yellow represents sunlight.
The circular shape at the center of the logo also speaks to this being a green company. As mentioned before, circles indicate a sense of completion. They can also symbolize protection, warmth, and renewal, all of which are appropriate for this company.
Finally, the font is clean and modern. That’s ideal for a company that embraces green values but combines them with technology.
The most important thing you can do to market your company is to understand your target audience on a deep level. Ultimately, you want your customers to feel that your marketing – whether it’s on your website, on social media, or in an ad – is speaking directly to them and their concerns.
One way to make sure that you understand your target audience is to develop an avatar to guide you.
Basics of Avatar Development
An avatar is a visual representation of your ideal customer or client. It should take into consideration any characteristics that might typify your clients and help you target them online.
The first list of characteristics to consider are demographic qualities. Things like your target audience’s age, gender, marital status, income level, and so on, will help you focus your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to need your products.
However, demographic information isn’t enough in today’s marketing climate. You also need to take psychological aspects into consideration. These things – hobbies, interests, and so on – are called psychographics.
Developing a psychographic profile might mean determining that many people in your target audience are against animal testing or enjoy gardening. You can use those preferences to hone your marketing so it reaches the best possible audience for your company.
Why You May Need More Than One Avatar
While some companies may only need one avatar, it is important to consider the possibility that you might need more than one. Here’s an example.
Many green companies market both to other businesses and to consumers. The marketing material that appeals to a corporate buyer is unlikely to appeal to a homeowner, even if they’re in the market for similar products.
Consider who your buyers are – and if there are two groups whose characteristics are incompatible with one another, make an avatar for each of them. That way, you can use each avatar to reach the audience it represents.
Green Social Media
One of the benefits of developing an avatar is that you can use the information you gathered to craft a social media strategy. There are few companies that can afford to ignore social media as a way of connecting with their customers.
The key to using social media marketing wisely is to pick the best sites for your particular needs, and then tailor your content so that it meets your target audience’s expectations.
How to Pick the Best Social Media Sites for Green Marketing
There is an art form to choosing the right social media sites for marketing your green company. Some sites have broad demographic appeal while others are more limited in scope. You have to know your target audience if you want to choose wisely and get a good return on your social media investment.
Facebook is by far the largest social media site, and one of the best for reaching consumers. The site has more than two billion active monthly users who span a broad demographic range. If you’re looking for one site to try, we recommend starting with Facebook.
For B2B marketing, you may want to stick to LinkedIn, which is ideal for connecting businesses to one other.
Other sites vary greatly in terms of who uses them and how effective they are for marketing. Twitter has broad appeal but is much smaller than Facebook. Pinterest’s audience is overwhelmingly female and affluent, and its tools are highly suited to visual marketing.
By contrast, Snapchat and Instagram both skew significantly younger than Facebook. Next to Facebook, YouTube is probably the most broadly popular site – and video marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your audience.
Ultimately, you need to pick two or three social media sites that you feel will allow you to connect with your audience. It’s better to ignore the rest than to have an inactive or sub-par account.
Marketing Ideas to Try
Now let’s talk about some marketing ideas you can use to connect with your target audience online.
1. Find ways to visually demonstrate how your company helps protect the environment and the planet. That might mean pairing up with non-profit organizations, posting pictures of your green manufacturing process, or simply sharing information about what you do.
2. Give customers a look behind the scenes. Transparency is particularly important for green companies. Customers who are environmentally conscious want to feel that the companies they support are above board in the way they do business.
3. Encourage your followers to share images of themselves using your products in innovative ways. You can even sponsor a contest to encourage sharing. The prize might be a free product or some other perk to encourage participation.
4. Make yourself part of the community. A lot of green companies choose to put their power behind important causes in the communities they do business in. For example, you might decide to sponsor a beach clean-up effort, plant trees in a local park, or raise money for the Audubon Society to protect marsh birds. Whatever you do, let it be a reflection of your core values.
5. Contrast your green approach with less environmentally-friendly options to give customers a clear demonstration of the benefits of buying your products or using your services.
6. Educate your followers about the innovations and changes your company is using to support the planet. A lot of times, people want to support environmentally conscious companies but lack the information they need to make informed buying decisions. You can provide that with your marketing. Videos and graphic images are a particularly good way to convey that information.
These are just a few ideas. The key thing to remember is that you want to provide valuable and relevant content that helps your audience understand the benefits of buying from you.
Marketing and branding for green companies requires making consumers aware of how and why you are protecting the environment. Once they understand what you do, they’ll be eager to buy from you.