Green marketing isn’t dead. It’s on the verge of popularity and necessity. Buzzwords like sustainable, renewable, green and environmentally-friendly are keen to a successful marketing campaign. However, if consumers don’t understand what they mean then they can’t be transformed into customers. The problem with green marketing today is that even the professionals don’t really understand what they’re talking about. If the professionals can’t communicate what it means to be green then the consumers won’t believe them. Consumers have a lack of trust in green products and services and it’s our job as marketers to change that.
It’s unfortunate that so many products on the shelves right now claim to be “environmentally friendly” or “organic,” because many of these products can’t live up to the claim. This is otherwise known as “greenwashing,” when ads and labels offer more green benefits than can be delivered. Read more about it here in this “Environmental Health Perspectives” article. Being green is a fad – I will admit. In order to gain back the trust of consumers, it’s our job as marketers to decipher what it means to be green, let consumers know and comprehend the message and set them straight to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Some may ask, isn’t that what the FTC is for? Well, yes that is part of their job. However, because of some political reasons we won’t go into right now the FTC is unable to investigate and litigate every false “green” marketing and advertising claim. Therefore, because every product claims to be green then why should a customer choose yours over the next company’s? How do they really know if what you’re claiming to be environmentally-friendly or renewable is true? Buyers are losing confidence in green claims; so let’s work together to help our communities understand the true meaning of sustainable and environmentally-friendly and how to get there. Once we can establish an understanding and begin to build confidence in consumers again we can work on the fundamentals to market our products and services appropriately and effectively in order to truly make a change towards a greener lifestyle.