Green marketing has failed

This article by Joel Makower on Linkedin exposes a truth the green movement refuse to accept; people base their buying decisions on price and trust of a brand before the environment.

Sometimes it’s hard to face reality, especially when a dream is so alluring. And the alluring dream of green marketing is this: that consumers would cast a vote in favor of a more just and sustainable world whenever they shop.

But the reality has been vastly different. For well over 20 years, consumers haven’t been willing to vote with their dollars. The reasons are many and complex, but the result is clearcut: With the exception of some energy-saving devices, no green product has captured more than a tiny slice of the marketplace, at least in the U.S.

Think about it: No environmentally preferable car, carpet, cleaner, cosmetic, clothing, coffee, credit card or cell phone has captured more than 2 percent of its respective market. In most cases, sales of green products represent well under 1 percent of any given category. 

Even where green products do seem to be selling, it’s not primarily because of their environmental benefits. Organic foods? It’s about what we put into our bodies. Hybrid cars? They reduce costly trips to the pump. Energy Star TVs and appliances? They cut energy costs. It’s not really about the planet.

A reader emails about the article:

I see this every day as an exporter.  The customers love the product and trust the brand (New Zealand) but ultimately price is always the first and last buying decision.

I also think the writer misses a point about why business are trying to work in a more sustainable manner.  Yes I agree with him it is about cost savings but being a greenie he refuses to understand/acknowledge that where there is profit to be made, business will protect and nurture the source of that profit better than any other organisation.  I guess that’s too big a concept for the left and greenies to understand as they refuse to concede that anyone but them cares about the planet.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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