Green Marketing: What’s All the Fuss?

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What’s all the fuss about green marketing? It’s more than just another hook to get people to buy products. It’s about the types of people who purchase green products. They have higher than average incomes, they are willing to pay up to 20% more for products and services (according to Collette Chandler, an author and consultant specializing in green marketing), and they are extremely brand loyal. It’s a marketer’s dream.

It’s no wonder that companies are targeting this marketplace.

Here are a few statistics from “The Effects of Green Marketing: How Consumer Trends Drive Profits,” sponsored by Keyboard Culture.

People who are influenced by green and sustainable claims are called LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) consumers. The market products and services meeting the needs these consumers is currently estimated at $230 billion, according to Collette Chandler, an author and consultant specializing in green marketing, and is predicted to grow to $845 billion by 2015.

Subsets of this marketplace include:

  • Sustainable economy — $76 billion
  • Healthy lifestyles — $27 billion
  • Alternative medicine — $30 billion
  • Personal growth — $10 billion
  • Ecological lifestyles — $81 billion

According to Chandler, these marketplaces are also showing extraordinary growth. Green building, a subset of the sustainable economy, is expected to reach a  tipping point by 2010 with 5-10% of new construction. Eco-tourism, a sub of lifestles, is estimated to reach $77 billion, or 5% of overall U.S. travel. This is one of the fastest growing travel trends.

But calling something “green” doesn’t automatically sell to this marketplace. These are highly educated consumers who are very discerning about what they buy. They test companies’ claims and want to see more than lip service to sustainability. They want to see companies that walk the walk and talk the talk. They also want the products and services they buy to equal or out-perform “non-sustainable” or “non-green” products. So if marketers want to target LOHAS consumers, they need to be careful not to green-wash but to provide a product and service of superior quality and out of a genuine concern for the lifecycle of the planet.

Seems like a lot of work, but only if a company’s commitment is skin deep. For marketers with true environmental conscience and who are developing products out of that conscience, it’s just the way business is done — and LOHAS consumers know the difference.

Like this post? Check out all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

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