People are looking for more meaning in their purchases. With the right copywriting tips you can speak to this interest effectively . . .
No question about it: A truly Green Revolution is occurring. Increasingly people are including green criteria in their buying decisions. A NPD poll cited by Marketwatch.com in 2007 reported that 18% of Americans said they are interested in purchasing “green, organic or eco-friendly products”.
Venture capitalist, Stuart Rudick form Mindful Capital Partners reported to me with glee that in every category – whether it be household furnishings to personal care to energy – green products are outpacing their conventional counterparts in sales growth.
And while many retailers and manufacturers are embracing green because of the growing market, it makes sound business sense as well. Sophier Collier, green investment pioneer, demonstrated with the steady returns of Working Asset’s mutual funds that sustainable businesses are often inherently solid businesses because of their sustainable practices.
And finally, many green business people I work with report that bottom line it’s just nice to feel so good about what you’re doing each day.
As someone who fits into the LOHAS market, I understand deeply the appeal of these products and I can’t help feeling excited by the larger, global, non-commercial implications of these changes.
But if you are going to tap into this excitement, you have to market the right way.
Here’s a few suggestions:
1. Greenwashing has its limits. To tell the truth, I don’t really mind greenwashing so much. To me, any step, however slight and even if it’s dragging the other foot, is a step towards a better future. I’m glad to see that the pressure is on. But truth be told, the LOHAS market tends to be a skeptical group – lead by authority-questioning baby boomers.
So don’t just put out green messaging to win over the market without doing some real work in the background. If you’re environmentally-friendly promotion is insincere, you’ll find yourself with lots of free, unwanted publicity on blogs, through boycotts and more as this highly engaged market corrects the misconceptions.
2. Tell stories. One of the reasons behind green product’s success is people’s thirst for authentic products. What do I mean by authentic? I mean products that are not mass-produced, are rooted in a culture, a craftsperson’s skills; products that are built to endure and reach back into legacies. Tell about how your product was produced – the people involved. Talk about the location where the raw materials are sourced. Talk about the communities involved with the production of your product.
Now this doesn’t mean to get technical. What people are seeking often is a connection to other people, other communities. Interestingly enough, when asked about the importance of local foods, many consumers expressed great interest but further questioning revealed that “local” didn’t necessarily mean coming from nearby. “Local” simply meant the product had to be rooted in a place – a local specialty.
3. Be specific about features. LOHAS consumers are label-readers and spec-comparers. Give them the information that helps them know for sure they are buying a decent product. LOHAS consumers are willing to pay premium for environmentally-sound products, but they want to be sure that they are not being duped and paying extra simply for a label with pictures of trees on it.
4. Be clear about the larger benefits. As I mentioned in the headline, LOHAS consumers are purchasing more than a bottle of shampoo or a new mattress. They are consciously using their purchasing power to help shape the world they dream of. Make it clear how your product is connected to a larger, positive, global change.
5. Use third party authentification. The USDA seal for organic certification is probably the most widely recognized example of this. And in fact, this seal even supersedes brand in how consumers rely on it for quality. Find ways to communicate that your products are really green – whether it be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Energy Stars, the Forest Stewardship Council or the Marine Stewardship Council. Get your product certified and show it.
Are you targeting this market? Contact me to discuss your project email@example.com.
And get a copy of my free report “17 Health Copywriting Tactics for A Tough Economy”.