4 steps to fresher language in green business

Green business focusThe language you use to brand your product, service or message is a big deal. You choose words carefully to define who you are and to help you stand out.

People and businesses use “green” or “eco” to showcase a commitment to a healthier environment. But overuse of these terms now has us wondering; who is a greenwasher and who is the real deal?

Last week, our ESS founder questioned if Earth Hour/Day/Week events have lost their impact. Seems like a fitting time for green businesses to ask the same.

The message is still important. But is your approach losing its power?

Businesses and advocates in most fields reach a point where it’s time to stop preaching to the choir and analyze how inclusive they really are. The words we choose can polarize us and miss opportunities to connect to a wider audience.

Take the following steps to examine your message.

Reassess your branding, online content and social media conversations

Do you rely on the same language and images? If I went to your website, would I know exactly what you do and what makes you different? Do you bash or exclude others through your post choices or comments?

Find new vocabulary

There is nothing wrong with “green” and “eco”. They are lovely. And they draw in a pretty good crowd. But how do you prevent getting lost in the shuffle when the list of others relying on the same words rapidly grows?  Find fresh words to describe your mission. Find creative angles for those words. Like Eco-Snobbery Sucks.

Consider your crowd potential

Who are you turning off? Take the word “alternative”, for example. It’s commonly used in health care and clean energy.  You WILL reach those who pride themselves in participation of the unconventional. OR, those whose mainstream relationships went south. “Alternative” lets them know they are in the right place.

But for some, “alternative” means “freak show”.  How are you telling them otherwise?


Because it’s not about the customer in the big picture, it’s about the idea. A belief so strong you’ve based your livelihood on it. Plenty of wellness and green businesses advertise accessibility as a key trait of their goods or services. Yoga for the People, practical wellness, everyday green. Don’t just use industry catch phrases, tell me what they mean. And how do YOU make it happen?

Niche marketing helps us focus. But it’s the language that makes it pop. Like Earth Day events, green businesses and advocates can spread their messages more effectively by mixing up the approach.

Apply these steps to any business. What words are becoming cliché in yours? What are fresher options?

[photo: irisheyes/morguefile.com]

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About Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson is a freelance writer with nearly 20 years of experience in community health education, non-profit program management and mental health counseling. Amy works on projects that promote greener, healthier living through pragmatic approaches. She is an avid fan of reality therapy, small town farmers markets and dishing out home cooking with unsolicited advice. You can also follow Amy’s adventures in realistic wellness.