By Sonja Whipp
Guest Blogger Sonja Whipp is a freelance writer with an interest in green issues. When not writing or incessantly tweeting, Sonja enjoys exploring the City in search of great restaurants and exciting people. Find her on Twitter @SJWhipp and on her blog Ramblings.
Green Drinks NYC’s inaugural SPARK* event was a success, thanks to green-marketing expert and adviser Jacquie Ottman. Ottman gave us a lively discussion on her 20 New Rules of Green Marketing. Here’s a recap of what she touched upon in her discussion.
As 83% of adults are green, green has become mainstream. Even Walmart is into sustainability! The issue isn’t so much about convincing consumers to go green, instead it’s getting them to believe that companies are actually sincere in their green message. Right now, most consumers are feeling “green washed” (If you’re not familiar with the term, green washed means a company/product is made to appear greener than it actually is). In order for companies to appear sincere in their green message, they need to have authenticity and integrity. You can’t promote yourself as a green company if you don’t have a green track record.
Another important point for marketers that Ottoman raised is that consumers are concerned with all of the phases of a product’s life cycle, however, most companies don’t control the in-use, after-use, or disposal phases of the life cycle. As she said, you can make a product decomposable, but you can’t get the consumer to put it in the trash bin. Consumers need to be engaged on these levels as well. As Ottman advises, “make the intangible tangible!”
Finally, Ottoman stressed the importance of meeting consumer’s needs first before promoting a product as green. Lead with the primary reason a consumer should buy the product, then throw in the other benefits. Why should a consumer buy a more expensive product just to be green? If a consumer feels that a certain product will say, really improve their health, they’re willing to spend more money. Meet consumer needs first, then remind them that, oh the product is green, too!
Be sure stay tuned for our next SPARK* event! In the meantime, join us for our next mixer on March 13th! The event will be from 6 pm to 9 pm @ Tonic Times Square, 727 7th Avenue, New York, NY, 10019. Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. Click here for more information.