Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Avoiding "Green Marketing Myopia"

In a followup to my recent post about whether being green is enough of a reason to hire someone or buy a product, I happened across this great article on what the author calls "avoiding green marketing myopia."

In other words, people won't buy a product JUST because it's green. They have to LIKE it, too. So your marketing messaging should, yes, include credible information on how/why your product is green, but it also has to answer the ultimate consumer question: "what's in it for me?"

A quick excerpt:

Green marketing must satisfy two objectives: Improved environmental quality and customer satisfaction. Misjudging either or overemphasizing the former at the expense of the latter is what can be called "green marketing myopia."

In 1960, Theodore Levitt introduced the concept of "marketing myopia" in a famous Harvard Business Review article that is still studied by business students. In it, he characterized the common pitfall of companies' tunnel focus on "managing products" (i.e., product features, functions, and efficient production) rather than "meeting customers' needs" (i.e., adapting to consumer expectations, anticipating future desires).

Levitt warned that a corporate preoccupation with products rather than consumer needs was doomed to failure because consumers select products and new innovations that offer benefits they desire.

Similarly, many green products have failed because of marketers' myopic focus on their products' "greenness" over the broader expectations of consumers or other market players (such as regulators or activists).

You can read the full article here. It's really quite interesting.

So what are your thoughts on the subject?

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