Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - It Ain't Easy Being a Green Marketer

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This is a very interesting post that prompts discussion on green marketing. As far as the green marketing bubble goes, I do not think that it is ready to pop. I agree with your statement, "what consumers say and how they behave aren’t always the same". This is especially true when it comes to low involvement product categories, like toilet paper. When it comes to products such as these, consumers tend to go with brand recognition. With this idea in mind, emerging toilet paper brands who deem themselves as "green", will not compete with well recognized brands like Charmin. With regard to the idea of green-washing I feel that competition will hopefully get so high that the companies who cannot legitimize their claims will be naturally weeded out. Since so many companies are making claims for their products going green, consumers will seek out those products and brands that can back up their marketing statements. Regulation on green marketing assertions could also be more stiff. Furthermore, companies making the claims that their products are green could offer consumers some sort of proof of this. Consumers need to see what their dollar is being spent on. If a brand or company can make the claim that dollars being spent on their products are helping the environment, consumers deserve to see more results. With regard to your commentary on Whole Foods, I think in the state of the economy a high priced specialty store like whole foods is bound to take a hit. Right now, marketers need to focus on making products people will already buy more eco-friendly. Not the other way around. If marketers continue to do this, I do not think the green marketing bubble will pop.

In economic downturns, higher price point items will always suffer unless they have an inherent savings advantage over the long term.

Certifications definitely help, but know that this field is complicated and evolving too with single and multi-attribute certifications.

If the FTC Green Guides ever get revised again, they'll just be more advisory statements anyway that concur with the current line of thinking: be specific, transparent, and don't make frivolous or unrelated claims.

One best practice is to give a bit of information on the label, and then build a special section of the website to providing the extra details.

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