I recently wrote a post about Coal Burger and its ironic and unfortunate brand positioning of being a “Green” burger joint. They are good people that own and run the place, but just misdirected in the ways of green marketing.

Great Lakes Brewing Company sources its ingredients locally to green its operations

But there’s hope and help for the Coal Burgers of the world. Entrepreneur Magazine, in its November issue, features an article on the five-step guide to marketing a green business called: Selling Green. They called me as a source for their piece the day after I wrote about Coal Burger, so the information was top-of-mind. Here are writer Matt Villano’s five steps to green marketing that he culled from his interviews with marketers and business owners across the country.

  1. See What Your Customers Want – Do they even care if you’re green? Bardessono, a luxury hotel and spa in Yountville, CA, made this mistake.
  2. Define What Green Means to You – Green has many nebulous meanings to consumers and proprietors alike. Ava Anderson does a nice job of explaining what being natural means in their non-toxic personal care items.
  3. Connect the Dots – Answer consumers’ questions: Does it work? Is it good for my budget, my family, and our planet?
  4. Practice What You Preach – Are you backing up your green position with sustainable actions that matter? Green Apple Cleaners in New York walk the talk.
  5. Reinvest in the Community – The old think globally, act locally adage. Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland only sources its ingredients locally.

The article is filled with case studies that demonstrate each of the five steps to marketing yourself as green. However, I’d like to remind you that being green isn’t so much about your marketing as it is about your philosophy and action. Being sustainable should be a natural bi-product of how you approach your business with planetary efficiency and healthy products as your highest priorities. That’s when your green story starts to get really interesting.

Do you have a favorite company that is doing its green marketing well? Please let us know below.