Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Marketers Need a Green Education

In an April 28, 2008 article in Adage, Jonah Bloom directly confronts the problem of greenwashing. He exonerates consumers and unflinchingly ascribes blame squarely where it belongs.

The same article cites a 2008 BBMG Conscious Consumer Report that indicated 86% of consumers identify themselves as 'environmentally friendly,' it also found that in practice, only one in five consumers 'always' buys based on social or environmental concerns. The same survey examined consumers buying decision. Predictably quality and price top the list. But there are other attributes which are also important to consumers. 44% indicated they consider 'where a product is made' to be very important. 41% indicated they consider 'energy efficiency' to be very important, whereas 'convenience' was considered very important for 34% of those surveyed. The attributes of 'made from recycled materials,' 'all natural,' 'locally grown,' and 'company donates to money or causes I care about,' all were considered more important than 'brand,' by consumers.

A large and growing number of consumers want Green products from Green companies. Marketers are rushing to cash in on this demand but consumer skepticism is well warranted. Mr Bloom concludes by asking "Does the marketing world care enough to actually know what it's talking about, or just enough to hang out a recycled shingle and make a quick buck? At the moment, it still looks a lot like the latter."

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