Friday, November 09, 2007

To be green or not to be green

I recently attended a presentation that had a slot about “the environment” and what the assembled audience should be doing in their own businesses.

To be fair to the guy (well it is nearly the weekend) he did make the point that eco-scare was blunting the sensitivities of consumers and will have a detrimental effect on the green lobby but then went on to make a good case for investing in a canoe as talked about the “20 ft rise is sea levels” and the resulting carnage.

A new ICM report has been published to publicise the 100th Ideal Home Show. Titled “Eco Attitudes” the report describes the Brits’ problems with greenery. A part of the report I found interesting.
The older generation, 65 plus, see themselves as the most eco friendly with 15% rating themselves as “Very Environmentally friendly” compared to just 7% of 18-24yrs, 25-34 yrs and 35-44 yrs. Almost half (43%) 18-24 yr olds leave tvs on standby compared to a quarter (26%)of 55-64 yr olds. However, youngsters 18-24yrs, rated themselves as feeling the most guilty when confronted with eco news (13%) compared to just 5% of 45-54yrs, 55-64yrs and 65plus. For 35-44 yr olds lack of money is the most common reason for not being more eco friendly (47%) compared to just 25% of 18-24 yrs.
In the UK, Marketers are responding to a wall of noise coming out of Government and the media with the BBC taking it upon itself to become the country’s beacon of Greenery. Joe public are not daft and can spot a band wagon when they see one trundling along followed by politicians clapping their hands at the new opportunities to increase taxation.

So what do marketers do – apply a good layer of eco-cosmetics. This means making as much noise as possible about your green credentials, maximize the competitive advantage and do it with the minimum of inconvenience to the company as possible.

Consumers (especially of the older variety) can see the need for changing behaviours. What they are beginning to react against is the hectoring and blatant opportunism of Government and the corporate sector. This bad, bad marketing.Dick Stroud

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