Eco-marketing, or green marketing, is a trend in business where companies create an image of themselves as an environmentally friendly organization in order to gain favor with environmentally conscious customers. Companies mainly engage in eco-marketing through advertisements, but some may also create an environmentally friendly image by taking a stance on political issues. Hewlett Packard, Toyota and Ben & Jerry's are three companies practicing eco-marketing.
Hewlett Packard is one of the world's biggest technology companies, producing computers, servers and many other tech products for home, business and government use. HP engaged in eco-marketing with its “Motherboard ad,” which showcases the company's priorities of sustainability and energy efficiency. The company also flaunts its recycling program, which has recycled over one billion pounds of electronic waste since 1987. The reason for this type of advertising, according to Gary Elliot, HP Vice President of Brand Marketing, is that the company feels its customers are socially and environmentally conscious and would prefer to buy from a company that conducts business in a responsible way.
Toyota, one of the world's largest auto manufacturers, unleashed their Prius model in 2000, and it has since become the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the United States. While the introduction of a hybrid vehicle is itself a sign that the company seeks to appeal to an environmentally conscious customer base, Toyota also engages in eco-marketing to promote its environmentally friendly image. In 2005, Toyota budgeted 50 million dollars into its hybrid vehicle advertising campaign, which dwarfed any other auto maker, according to Advertising Age. Another example of Toyota's eco-marketing came through a commercial that aired during the 2007 Super Bowl, showcasing Toyota's “Hybrid Synergy Drive.” This system allows the driver to constantly monitor the amount of energy drawn from its electric motor, as opposed to the less eco-friendly gas motor. Toyota has engaged in eco-marketing by promoting products that allow consumers to drive in an environmentally conscious way.
Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's started as an ice cream stand in Burlington, Vermont, in 1978 and has grown to a leader in the premium ice cream market. You will not see high-profile advertising like Super Bowl commercials for Ben & Jerry's, but the company takes other steps to market itself as environmentally conscious. Campaigns such as the “Lick Global Warming” campaign are advertised on Ben & Jerry's ice cream pints and website to inform people about the company's stance on the effects of carbon emissions on the environment. Ben & Jerry's also promotes its environmentally conscious business practices like sourcing paper for its pints from paper companies with responsible and sustainable business practices. Ben & Jerry's most well-known eco-marketing may come from their marches on Washington to protest various issues. One of these issues was Ben & Jerry's “Baked Alaska” effort to protest drilling in the arctic refuge.