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Joel Makower: Top 3 Reasons Green Marketing Isn't Working

Joel Makower: Top 3 Reasons Green Marketing Isn't Working

Joel Makower, Executive Editor of Greenbiz, shares his top three reasons green marketing isn’t working.

"First of all, consumers don’t care. For 25 years they’ve been saying one thing in the survey and doing another. Studies dating back to 1989 show 70, 80 even 90% of consumers saying they would gladly buy the right product over a non green one, and maybe even pay a price premium for the privilege of doing that. And those data haven't changed much over the years, but neither have people’s shopping habits.

Second reason is that most of what companies are doing, they are not even talking about. For example over 100 of GM’s 145 manufacturing plants have reached zero waste, nothing going to landfill. That's a significant achievement from an environmental perspective, but it has nothing to do with selling Chevy's. And in fact, if GM started messaging that they’d probably get beat up by one environmental group or another.

And the third reason its not working is: it’s not working! If you look at the data, no real consumer product has caught fire. No cosmetic, clothing, car, cell phone, has achieved more than 1% of market share after all these years. I think consumers what they want. They want to buy green products from good companies, they just don't know what that means. I think we really need to have companies just doing what they're doing to green their product behind the scenes, and probably not even talk about it."