Green Marketing Campaigns Don’t Always Stick

Marketing_vox1_jpegThe folks at Marketing Vox discuss the general absorption of green marketing messages into Americans’ thoughts and actions.  How effective have the major initiatives been?

Posted May 19, 2008

Marketing Vox

Marketing_vox_jpeg_2Some 71 percent of North Americans want to know about the socially
responsible behavior of brands they buy — but most people cannot
identify a list of major brands as socially responsible or
irresponsible, according to a new poll, writes Environmental Leader, MarketingCharts reports.

Some brands, such as Wal-Mart and GE, that have spent significant
marketing dollars communicating green initiatives are not connecting,
according to the April 2008 online poll of 5,000 North Americans for
Conscientious Innovation’s latest Shift Report.

  • Just 19 percent identify both Wal-Mart and GE a socially responsible companies.
  • Only 6.5 percent identify Bank of America as a socially responsible brand.

Those companies led the way with green and CSR (corporate social responsibility) marketing communications in 2007.

The study reveals areas of socially responsible decisions being made
by consumers – as well as areas in which they plan to make such


  • The top planned areas for socially responsible behavior vacation
    choices (46 percent), financial investments (45 percent) and choices
    related to cars (43 percent).
  • The top areas where socially responsible behavior have been made are food choices, home cleaning, and home energy.

"Green" is not the most important sustainability issue for consumers
and isolates the key brand characteristics that consumers are looking
for when defining a company as socially responsible:


  • Most (58 percent) rank global warming as an important
    sustainability issue; however, social, personal and spiritual
    sustainability sectors are ranked higher:

    • Connecting with friends, family and community (90 percent)
    • Fair trade (73 percent)
    • Employee treatment (85 percent)
  • Organic products fell near the bottom as an important
    sustainability issue (30 percent), whereas commitment to "buying local
    and supporting locally based business" ranked much higher (more than 60

The study also found that people are sensitive to a disconnect
between glossy ad campaigns and tangible operating practices when
ranking key brand characteristics they look for when deciding whether a
brand is socially responsible.

The top-ranked characteristics include product design (65 percent),
packaging (64 percent), produced locally/sold by a locally based
business (57 percent). While not at the top, affiliation with a
nonprofit or charitable cause is important to 41 percent of the

No Responses to “Green Marketing Campaigns Don’t Always Stick”

  1. The fact that one in five people identify Wal-Mart as ‘socially responsible’ is actually amazing given their perception five years ago. And they have actually spent very lttle communicating their initiatives. They have done it correctly and it has indeed paid off.

Leave a Reply