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It’s Not Easy Being a Green Shopper

I couldn’t resist sharing a childhood favorite!

We’ve all been there…trying to decide if buying a “green” product is worth the cost and benefits.  In fact, in a recent Media Post Marketing Daily article, Aaron Baar cites several studies showing how consumers struggle with achieving the full environmental benefits of green products.  This often stems from the lack of information or resources available to them.

Research shows that most consumers have every intention of carrying out their green product responsibility.  But this becomes a challenge when, for example, a compostable product is purchased but the resources needed to compost are unavailable in their area.

Then there are retailers investing heavily in LEED Certified environments…not an easy task. But big brands like Target, Walgreens, and Stop & Shop have made it happen.  In fact, Walgreens hopes to the build the first Net Zero Energy store in Evanston, IL, producing equal or greater energy than it consumes.  An amazing feat, really.

But how does this benefit translate to local shoppers?  Will they understand the importance of retailers investing in their community… and the environment, overall?

I’ve been to retailers and QSRs with a LEED certified emblem plaque proudly displayed on their front door.  Initially, I think, “very cool” but then, truthfully, I forget about it.  The ultimate benefits, the impact for me…and my community…seem so distant, so obscure.

Sadly, it doesn’t leave a lasting impression nor provide a true distinction as to what makes this brand so special.  Why should I put my money behind this brand versus another?  How does it really touch my life or the lives of those I care about?  In theory, ‘green’ sounds great.  But what does this really mean?

Alas, this problem has a fairly simple solution AND presents a perfect growth opportunity for brands.  If you’ve already made the large investment by taking a stand in offering green products and/or retail space, you are more than halfway there.

It’s time to educate consumers and clarify your position in their minds.  In other words, you need to answer these questions:

  • What are the specific benefits of your green mission – for them, their family and friends, and their community at-large?
  • (Consumer has green product in hand and ready to dispose) — What do they do with it?

Finally — and I can’t stress this enough — be specific.  In fact…why not make the instructional materials fun, interesting and educational?  If you’re targeting moms, why not get the kids involved?

You have their attention — so use this opportunity to really make it your own.


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