Earlier this year, eco-marketer Jacquelyn A. Ottman wrote a worthy article for MarketingProfs.com about the “Rules of Green Marketing”.
Ottman points out that:
The first rule of green marketing is the first of rule of marketing: Focus on customer benefits — i.e., the primary reason consumers buy certain products in the first place. Keep in mind that environmental benefits are important to consumers, but they are not the primary reason for all but “deep green” consumers’ preferring one product over another; so treat them as good, value-added secondary benefits.
I think she’s right – the 7% of consumers who are “socially responsible to the core” will choose the environmental benefit as the Primary reason to purchase. But for the remaining 93%, the green benefit is secondary.
Having said that, a green product that merely ‘solves’ the customer benefit is no longer enough.
The bar has been raised for brands to REALLY succeed in this day and age. Now you have to do 2 things:
1 – Launch something that is environmentally friendly
2 – Launch something that is IRRESISTIBLE
Imagine if the iPod was environmentally friendly (alas, it isn’t). Apple’s must-have accessory would force people to become greener shoppers. Not because they are trying to be, but because they can’t resist.
Your new product or service has to be sooooo good that people HAVE to have it.