The meaning of green marketing, also called ecological marketing or environmental marketing, differs in retail, social, and environmental contexts. Broadly, green marketing can be defined as an approach that challenges existing production and marketing practices and provides a fresh perspective rather than merely refocusing, enhancing, or adjusting current thinking.
The global green marketing market
has emerged as a means of curbing environmental pollution by manufacturing and marketing a product in a safe yet efficient manner. Balancing customer needs with environmental issues is the primary aim of green marketing, bringing together not just retailers and suppliers, but also regulators, educators, NGOs, and members of the community.
Growing Community Concerns Drive Green Marketing Market
The level of environmental awareness among consumers has grown tremendously in recent years. So much so, that companies and brands relying on green marketing have now earned themselves a loyal customer base. Eco-aware consumers are willing to shell out more for sustainable, green, and ethically produced and marketed goods, ensuring steady sales even during recession or other adverse conditions.
While environmental concerns on the part of the consumer may be a driving force for the green marketing market, manufacturing and marketing companies have also made the most of the green marketing initiative. Green marketing focuses on making optimum use of available resources, avoiding wastage, and recycling, making it a relatively affordable alternative to traditional marketing techniques. Businesses with smaller or tight marketing budgets are turning to green marketing, giving a significant thrust to the global market. The Internet has emerged as one of the most effective and popular means of green marketing, with an increasing number of companies jumping on the bandwagon.
Some of the prominent names in the green marketing market are General Electric Company, Nike Inc., General Motors Company, Canon Inc., Cereplast Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc., Herman Miller Inc., The Clorox Company, Mary Kay Inc., Del Monte Foods, Unilever N.V, Toyota Motor Corporation, and The Procter & Gamble Company.
Europe and North America hold Lion’s Share of Global Green Marketing Market
North America and Europe together account for the largest share of the green marketing market. Americans have been increasingly focusing on investing in fuel-efficient vehicles, energy-efficient homes, recycling, and purchasing products that are less harmful to the environment than their conventional counterparts. This growing awareness among American consumers has driven a number of businesses to venture into green marketing, with even conventional businesses such as electronic appliance outlets, grocery stores, and hardware stores expanding their product portfolio to make the most of this trend.
Governments in Europe have responded to the rising concerns of the consumer regarding depleting energy resources and environmentally harmful products. The development and implementation of numerous policies that support sustainable methods of production and curb hazardous industrial practices has greatly supported the green marketing market in Europe. Countries such as Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, and Belgium have expressed concern over the issue of waste, its disposal, and export, resulting in stringent environment protection laws.
The green marketing market, being relatively new, faces a number of challenges owing to limited consumer awareness, high cost of development, and falsified claims and grievances. It becomes imperative for players within the green marketing market to address these bottlenecks in order to sustain themselves in an increasingly competitive environment.