Consumer engagement is now the primary focus of green marketing – harnessing the innate CSR values that most consumers have and creatively engaging them to actively purchase from brands and companies that have differentiated, positive CSR performance, write William Ratcliffe of Collected Conscience and Chris Coulter of GlobeScan in a recent article for WARC’s Admap magazine.
This article outlines three best practice strategies for engaging with consumers on issues around sustainability and the environment, at a time when people have become sceptical of marketing claims due to exposure to ‘greenwashing’.
- Early attempts at green marketing were often insincere and superficial, leading to the term ‘greenwashing’ that damaged the reputations of some brands.
- Research has identified four groups who are receptive to ‘green’ messaging: committed ‘advocates’, style and social status seeking ‘aspirationals’, price and performance minded ‘practicals’, and the less-engaged ‘indifferents’.
- Consumers want brands to show their commitment to sustainability through actions, not just words; companies should embed values throughout the organisation to build credibility.
- People also look to brands to teach them about sustainability issues and involve them in efforts to protect the environment.