Is Green Talk All Gobbledygook?
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on October 15th, 2009
EcoAlign, a strategic marketing firm specializing in green issues, has released a report that shows that, while consumers care about green issues, they don’t understand much of the basic terminology or make clear distinctions between terms. So when we talk “green” to our customers, do they understand what we’re talking about?
Although the report, “Green Gap Redux: Green Words Gone Wrong,” is focused largely at the energy industry, it has important implications for all companies marketing “green.” With printing — digital printing, in particular — really focused on its green benefits, it ought to be listening closely.
There were some really strange findings in here. For example, only 31% of consumers thought the environment would benefit from smart grid technologies; and 29% thought the government would benefit least. (Guess those government stimulus dollars were just altruism!)
In a press release, Andrea Fabbri, COO and Chief Marketing Officer of EcoAlign, said:
Compared to two years ago, consumers today have a greater understanding of the importance of conservation and clean energy but have not moved this awareness into action. The challenge for communications and marketing professionals is to make sustainability an economic value. This must start from engaging with consumers on a more deeply emotional level to transform beliefs into the values that shape consumer decisions. But it also has to be complemented by solutions that address the economic barriers.
For printers, the takeaway point is the need to really focus on practical discussions about what your environmental initiatives mean to your customers and tie them into both environmental and economic benefits. Marketers and consumers are being barraged with “green” terminology. Let’s not assume that they always understand what it means.
A copy of the full EcoPinion report is available at no charge by visiting EcoAlign’s website at www.ecoalign.com.