Avoid the inevitable boredom with or backlash against “going green”
Before you join the hordes of “eco-friendly” businesses, be aware of the potential backlash against companies who profess they are going green. Some consumers are frustrated with conflicting advice about being environmentally conscious or are just tired of hearing companies tout their new eco-awareness. They may doubt your sincerity or integrity if you are pushing a green agenda.
According to the results of the 2008 Green Gap Survey by Cone LLC and The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC), the group they surveyed misunderstood language commonly used in environmental advertising, which gave products “a greater environmental halo than they deserve” and created risk of a backlash. In addition, a majority of those surveyed support government regulation of environmental messaging.
In order to avoid a green marketing backlash you must be precise, be relevant, be a resource, be consistent, be sincere, and be realistic when marketing green products or services. Specific environmental claims are more credible than general claims. How is your product or service helping the environment — or hurting it less than another product or service? Be sure to make a clear connection between the product you offer and the environment, and be sure you can back up any and all green claims you make. Consider images you use to portray your products or services. Do they contradict your words or support them?
Be truthful about what you are doing and how your green efforts are making a difference or are progressing. Provide additional information and/or a resource list of third party websites for customers on your website. Consider how green fits with your mission statement, and update it if appropriate. While promoting your green, make sure you don’t lose focus on your products or services.