Rethinking Green Marketing

I came across an interesting article by Lisa Jaccoma at GreenBiz.com, examining what’s wrong with Green Marketing and what needs to happen.

Far from an in-depth study, the piece, however, does a decent job of succinctly identifying some primary issues — politics, tone, language, economics, consumer adoption, etc., — while offering brief alternative ways of thinking about them.

The very first topic rang true loud and clear, and while it’s great to see the problem identified so clearly, I do fear that, of all the problems identified in the article, this is the one that is hardest to imagine changing in our Hatfield-McCoy, Right-Left, Republican-Democrat country:

The Elephant in the Room

Environmentalism, and by extension, clean tech in the U.S., is deeply associated with political party. Nearly half of your audience opts-out based on perceived political bias. Ignoring the powerful political affiliation issue in marketing green is like creating delicate luggage in a world of Samsonite gorillas. We are not in reality. We have to deal with this frontally and with humor. We have to cross and eliminate the political divide. We need to become Switzerland.

Again, nothing in-depth here, and without depth the suggestion that the U.S. needs to “become Switzerland”, and that this needs to be done “frontally and with humor” has the overall effect of sounding unclear, simplistic and unhelpful.

Yet, Jaccoma never promises depth, and it’s not hard to interpret this as more of a conversation starter. Overall, I like her tone and the confidence she exudes. It gives off a sense that this is all possible, that it just needs to be spun differently, and that is an encouraging thought.

One thought on “Rethinking Green Marketing

  1. The issue, if one wants to do more than sell greenwashed bullshit, is much more fundamental. “Green” has to refined and re-defined since much of it is falsehood to begin with.

    Examples – CFL’s aren’t “green” or sustainable; they’re lower power consumption, but the environmental and human cost of mercury mining and refining doesn’t disappear just because it’s been off-shored to China. The same is true of the rare earths used in high-charge batteries so needed for “green” products.

    And the Price problems have to be addressed w/o resorting to taxpayer funded subsidies. Nobody is buying into that being a viable business model anymore – though many subsidies are continued anyway.

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