5 Steps to Forging a Green Marketing Path | GoodWorks – Advertising Age
5 Steps for Gaining Consumer Trust Despite Greenwashing Fears
By: Jacquelyn Ottman
Bio RSS feed Published: August 04, 2011 inShare45 J. Ottman
Ask businesses why they don’t tout green achievements more often, and their answer will likely be fear of greenwash. Before you let such fears deter you from making investments in sustainable technology or promoting your green achievements, consider how difficult it is for any advertiser to gain consumer trust.
Consumers have always been skeptical of advertising. Take the food industry, for example. Food brands have long been under government scrutiny for their advertising claims. Today, companies are getting smeared for overpromising health benefits, leaving consumers confused about what’s actually true. But we don’t call that “food wash.”
As I write in my new book, “The New Rules of Green Marketing,” skepticism is so rampant in all industries that consumers trust each other more than they trust brands, ads and media messages in general. That’s one reason social media is soaring right now.
Skepticism is par for the course. Besides, a little skepticism is good — it keeps us on our toes. The now “Wild West” green marketplace will mature. But as is the case for many established industries, the potential to screw up will always be there.
So, proceed with caution. But for the sake of the planet and your business, do proceed. The following strategies will help you avoid greenwash and gain competitive advantage in the process:
1. Walk your talk. Thwart the most discriminating of critics by visibly making progress toward measurable goals. Being proactive in responding to the public’s concerns and expectations starts with a visible and committed CEO. That’s because CEO