The industry is continuously being infiltrated with green products, eco-friendly initiatives and socially responsible consumers. These consumers are willing to, and in fact, do, spend even more money on environmentally friendly products and services. Have you taken a step in the right direction to capitalizing on these consumers?
You have to practice what you’re preaching… or selling. These consumers aren’t going to give you a cookie just for being eco-friendly. They won’t congratulate you for using recycled paper. Socially Responsible Consumers expect and want you to be socially responsible.
What drives the Green Consumer? According to the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report, there are five key values which drive socially responsible consumers. First, Health and Safety. These consumers are seeking out products and services that are natural, organic and unmodified. Second, Honesty. These consumers want you to be straight forward regarding product details. If it’s only 10% recycled material, that’s okay, just be honest. Third, Convenience. Eco-friendly products and services must still fit within the consumer’s lifestyle AND budget. The fourth value is Relationships. Socially Responsible Consumers will build long-lasting relationships with brands. They insist on knowing who made it and where it came from. Finally, the fifth key value is Doing Good. These consumers want to know that they are doing something worth their while, that they are supporting the health of our environment and possibly helping others locally.
So…how do you target these consumers appropriately?
1. Print all materials on recycled paper or use earth-friendly inks. Every ton of paper recycled saves over 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space (earth911.com). Using recycled paper will cost a bit more but will have a much larger impact on your target consumer. Make sure you don’t rub it in their faces. Printing “This advertisement was printed on recycled paper” is NOT the way to captivate your consumer. Socially Responsible Consumers will know the paper is recycled, will appreciate it, and won’t forget it.
2. Make sure your promotional give aways are eco-friendly. Anything and everything is available in an eco-friendly format nowadays. Whether it’s a baseball hat, tote bag, pen or mouse pad, you can rest assured eco-friendly versions are available. Most of these products will have some sort of identification to inform the consumer that it is recyclable or was a recycled product.
3. Practice what you preach. If you have a store front, ensure you have recycling options available to your employees (and customers if applicable). Ensuring your employees are on board will eventually trickle down to your consumers as well. If you plan to hand out a recycled notebook at a trade show, you should also ensure that your employees are using recycled office products in the office as well.
Going Green is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. Take small steps in the right direction. This will attract the Socially Responsible Consumer and will begin to build long-lasting relationships.