Turning Greenwashing Around – Marketing After the Green Color Glasses Come Off

The_lohasian_jpegOriginally posted Jan 21, 2008
the lohasian

Lately with all the greenwashing and a plethora of research projects
all trying to quantify the psychography, size and scope of the green
marketplace, I’ve been thinking about the basic principles of sales and
marketing. Mostly, I look at how, today, these principles contradict
logic. Corporations are clamoring for this attractive market share and
are willing to promise the moon to get it.

I’m reminded of the book Consumed by Benjamin Barber. It’s a good
critique of American Consumerism in general, but applies to the new
green consumerism as well. In the first few pages, we’re reminded that
today’s culture behaves on backwards principles. Expectations are
contrary to action. We expect:

  • Age without degradation.
  • Sex without reproduction.
  • Dress without formality.
  • Age without wisdom, humility or dignity.
  • Certainty without doubt.
  • Consumption without end.

how does this play with being green? Do we expect results without
sacrifice? Major results from minor steps? Profit from philanthropy?
Diversity from mass marketing?

Yes, on all accounts. We have
been conditioned to. Authenticity, progress and intention are at the
core of LOHAS. It is not at the core of mainstreaming green principles
through promotion and advertising, however.

The next level of
authentic green marketing will be about realistic expectations. And it
won’t be that welcome by the mainstream. It will feel like a
disappointment. But it will be right and optimistic and it will start
to change perceptions slowly, deliberately and realistically.

Junction is a feature column focusing on culture, advertising and the
ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative,  a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25  agencies by LOHAS Journal.

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