People Won’t Buy Green for Green’s Sake

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Triple Pundit featured a great panel summary from last week’s State of Green Business Forum (image by a Geek Mom). Of the four green marketing points, the first title was a message of clarity: “No such thing as a green consumer.”

Continuing forward into the panel report, it says:

Although perhaps about 7 percent of consumers are motivated by altruism, the majority are motivated because they see the product as better in some way for themselves (such as health, lower energy cost, or safety). In many cases, the green product is the tiebreaker or the cherry on top, thus green consumers must see the product as the same, or better, than the competition.

The issue becomes more than that of diffusing new technology. Companies are creating green products as separate items in their line-up. Or they green their existing products and charge a healthy wallop for the new technology diffusion. Instead the real approach must be making green an cost competitive feature set for existing products.

Such a simple thing. It makes sense really, and explains why so much geeky, cool green tech doesn’t actually make it on the mass market.

It also explains why there’s so much greenwashing on today’s traditional products. Manufacturers are fudging the line for that extra push and sale.

What do you think? Will the captains of industry move to hasten green diffusion by making it more pragmatic and affordable? Or will this just continue the trend of consume in spite of ecological impact?

Geoff Livingston is a regular contributor to the Live Earth blog.

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