The New Green Marketing Rule :: You Need to be Irresistible AND Green

Earlier this year, eco-marketer Jacquelyn A. Ottman wrote a worthy article for 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.

If only the iPod was greenHaving 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.

5 Responses

  1. I like it. Tangible measures of green marketing. I think this also explains why greenwashing can be effective. Greenwashing, in essence, promotes an aspect of a product or service that IS ancillary, so it will appeal to customers that purchase the product for secondary purposes. For the environmental to the core, greenwashing irks.

  2. Thanks for the link on! I agree with the post 100% and have found validation through the many clients I’ve worked with at I keep telling this story over and over again – price, convenience, and good design are very important.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys (and links).

    I do think that that more and more people will start choosing greener options. But for the moment, let’s dazzle them with great products that just happen to be green.

    Ivan – I really like what I saw over at your blog (and your links). I’ll be stopping by regularly.

  4. totally. Now we have to see if Karim Rashid’s soap gets more popular than ecover….

    it reminds me of back in the mid 90s when the hempies were making hemp jeans that weere basically knock-offs of levis 501s. while skateboard kids were happily buying elehant pants at $150– all the hippies could be heard in the hemp stores saying “$75 for a pair of jeans????” ..of course you will also have to ask will Del Forte’s a prius and an eco condo save us?

  5. Hello

    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!


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