Although the number of “conscious consumers” has risen in recent years, Steve Bishop (Global Lead Designer from Ideo) cautions against focusing marketing efforts solely towards green consumers. His article, “Don’t Bother with the ‘Green’ Consumer,” is featured in a new installation from the Harvard Business Review, www.hbrgreen.org. In it, Bishop says that companies don’t want to get stuck in the “green ghetto,” which is “virtuous, but limited in scope.”
“Consumers – whether they are green or mainstream – don’t simply want green products, they want solutions to their day-to-day problems that also make sense for our environment,” writes Bishop. Rather than develop products/services that appeal exclusively to green consumers, Bishop calls upon companies to recognize that what we are really striving for are green outcomes, or “green behaviors that everyone can aspire to.”
An insightful comment left by Ravi Dhar, a Yale Marketing Professor, reminds us that the “motivation for purchasing green attributes or products will vary across customers.” Some will buy these products for their cost-effectiveness, health benefits, or social impact. The goal for marketing professionals then becomes how to communicate “benefit” in a more engaging and holistic fashion.