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According to Maryanne Conlin, a MediaPost blogger, marketing of green products has grown up as more and more consumers search for and buy products touted as eco-friendly. This has, in turn led to more and more products adding green language to their marketing messages.
She continues to note that: It's easy, however, to fall into the trap of believing that positioning a product as sustainable and green is some sort of silver bullet that will drive product sales to unimaginable heights. That has never been true and is less true as we experience the worst recession in our lifetimes.
While there is a sizable segment of the population (16 percent) that will purchase products in the interest of saving the planet, (LOHAS defines these as very progressive on environment and society, looking for ways to do more [and] not too concerned about price,) this is only one segment of the green consumer market. It’s one that has seemingly expanded in the past few years as consumers across the spectrum felt wealthier, but in tough times, this segment necessarily shrinks.
Marketers should, however, pay attention to two other psychographic segments, Naturalites and Conventionals, that are leading the second wave of green consumption.
The word “green” has, in common usage, come to cover not only that which is good for the planet, but also that which is good for the body. For example, the green movement has been instrumental in campaigning for removal of toxic chemicals in the food supply, which benefits both planet and people.
As our population ages and consumers (especially new mothers) become more aware of the concerns with conventional farming methods, more are driven to look beyond low-fat and heart-healthy products for those grown naturally or organically. This means the Naturalites segment, or those who buy green for health-and-wellness purposes, is booming. This segment is less likely to give up their favorite organic product due to budgetary concerns -- placing health as a priority -- and will skimp in other areas.
Maryanne Conlin is CEO of The Mcmilker Group and winner of the 2008 Shorty Award for Best Green Content on Twitter. Conlin has 20 years of marketing experience both in brand management and new media. She writes for Green Options Media and speaks extensively on green issues. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post and at Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive’s green site, Sprig.com. Follow her on Twitter @mcmilker or email her at [email protected].