Using the environment to sell

5 07 2007

It seems that almost everyday a new advert is hitting our screens that tells us that if we buy product X (anything from cars to detergents) we will be doing our bit for the environment. Clearly big business can see that people are increasingly concerned about the environment and no doubt many are doing their bit to be seen to be green, but ultimately can encouraging people to consume ever be truly green?

More importantly are consumers going to buy into theses messages? Will they help people put their minds at rest as they feel that by buying product X they are minimising their impact on the environment? Or will consumers be cynical about these messages, and could they potentially backfire on the businesses that are trying to market their products with green credentials?

These are early days for green marketing amongst big manufactures and only time will tell what the response will be from consumers. But as the environment becomes an increasingly important issue for all individuals it will become increasingly important for businesses to present their green credentials in far more detail to allow customers to make more informed decisions as to where they choose to spend, save or invest their money.

 If consumers do start to question the ethics behind the products they buy, then the types of adverts we are seeing at the moment will not be sufficient to win custom. In fact in a short space of time they could well be seen as being naive attempts to win business.

All businesses would be well advised to take the environment to heart and genuinely make the biggest strides they can to ensure that they can deliver their goods and services in the most environmentally considerate manner, whilst of course still ensuring they remain profitable.

However, if businesses take the view that the cost of doing this will be too high and that profits would suffer, they should seriously reconsider this view and add into the decision making matrix the impact not making such a shift in practices will have on the long term sustainability of the businesses.

Those businesses that make the changes sooner will arguably be best placed to remain competitive and profitable in the long term as they will be the businesses that consumers who are concerned about the environment will choose to patronise.

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One response

9 07 2007
Owain

Very good post.

I think in time consumers, and businesses for that matter, will start to realise we need to start acting more responsibly if we want our planet to stay alive a little while longer. The only problem is that a lot of people won’t change their buying habits / lifestyle until something directly effects them, or at least pulls on their heart strings.

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