When Consumers Get Beyond “Green” Packaging
The fact that consumers are only going to become more knowledgeable about sustainability should inspire brands and marketers to do more than wrap their products in green labels. In trying to be more conscious about consuming, many a shopper likely thinks a green label is a red flag. They see it and know to dig deeper before they buy. The more they read and hear, the more skeptical they get, the more they’ll need proof of a brand’s sustainability commitment.
So, how to respond? Well, one thing to do is to read up on the tips that are being published in various consumer publications. Just imagine those faithful Oprah Magazine readers and how much they look to Oprah for her guidance on lifestyle topics from A to Z. Or, what about the various buying guides (paper copy or app) now available to help green-conscious consumers?
Whatever guidance is becoming more and more available to consumers, you need to make sure your company is at least beginning a plan to tend to those items.
I was recently interviewed in the University of Michigan’s LSA Wire publication on the ways consumers are getting beyond green packaging. There may be nothing new in that piece to you (and I am clearly no Oprah!), but… just remember that this is the type of thing your customer may now be reading and taking to heart. Are you addressing the things he or she will be expecting to see?
Interestingly, a comment to that post suggests The Better World Shopping Guide as a good way to review brands before you buy – which had been my second idea of something brands might want to review in considering what consumers use for their own research. Last week, I met the author, Ellis Jones (a sociologist) and participated in a Goddard College workshop about the guide, and was very impressed by the data gathering and analysis methods. One difference in what Jones’ measured for “better world shopping” as compared to other guides is that he looked not simply at environmental factors, but also at factors of human rights, animal protection, community involvement and social justice. You’d be surprised how many brands got a C level grade, or worse, when all those things were included in the equation!
My point is that consumers are getting beyond green packaging. They are seeing the bigger picture and starting to realize that the “green,” or environmental aspects, of a brand/product may be just one piece of the sustainability puzzle. So, are you ready for their questions?