The Effects of Green Marketing in Mainstream America
Does green marketing encourage people to make eco-friendly choices? A recent study by OgilvyEarth says that it often has the opposite effect.
The study called “Mainstream Green: Moving Sustainability from Niche to Normal” provides insight about the green gap—what consumers say they are doing to go green versus what they are actually doing.
This gap is substantial: 82 percent of Americans claimed to have green intentions, but only 16 percent are dedicated to fulfilling these intentions.
- Green doesn’t feel “normal,” it feels like a niche: It is perceived that only “hippies” or “rich elitist snobs” go green, not the average American.
- Going green is expensive: This means that most Americans feel that they cannot afford to go green.
- The green guilt phenomenon: According to the study, nearly half of Americans claim that the more they know about how to live a sustainable lifestyle, the guiltier they feel. Many people will retreat to ignorance to avoid the guilt.
- Green is the new pink: About 82 percent of the survey’s respondents considered going green to be feminine rather than masculine.
- It’s too complex: Many Americans would know how to begin calculating their carbon footprint. There is also confusion as to whether or not some decisions are greener than others.
And here are 5 ways to “fix” it:
- Make it normal: Contrary to popular belief, most people just want to fit in, according to this survey.
- Lower prices: Keep the prices comparable to the mainstream brands.
- Make green ads more male-friendly: Sleeker ads, packaging, etc…
- Lose the stereotypes: Use mainstream packaging, ads, etc..
- Educate, educate, educate: As I mentioned in our 7 Green Myths blog post, although many green products are more expensive than their counterparts, it isn’t always the case. Some green habits can even save you money in the long run.
What encourages you to go green?