Consumers may know that green is good – 82 percent of them have positive green intentions – but only 16 percent act on those intentions. Marketers can take steps to bridge the gap between intention and action and capitalize on the buying power of earth-conscious consumers.

The website Environmental Leader, based on research by Ogilvy & Mather, breaks down 12 specific recommendations to convince consumers:

  1. Make going green the norm – not the crazy thing fanatics do
  2. Make it personal by focusing on the direct benefit to the consumer
  3. Position green as the default option
  4. Remove the price premium that excludes everyone but the rich from green behavior
  5. Reinforce positive green choices with rewards
  6. Small amounts of guilt can motivate good behavior, use wisely
  7. Green has to work just as well as non-green. Consumers won’t sacrifice performance
  8. Make green the secondary benefit of a great product, not the primary purchase driver
  9. Give men some masculine green-love
  10. Keep it specific, like the Toyota’s Prius’ dashboard stats
  11. Create clear, concise labels for a sometimes skeptical public
  12. Make green fun and exciting, rather than a sacrifice

More green-loving consumers are good for business overall, as South Carolina leaders discussed at Tuesday’s “Green is Good for Business” conference.

“If every South Carolinian would increase their recycling efforts, we would easily double our existing recycling workforce, creating hundreds of jobs from the Lowcountry to the Upstate,” said Harris DeLoach, CEO of Hartsville-based packaging company Sonoco.

Always remember that consumers are seeking ease and effectiveness first – green marketing can succeed by positioning the environmental benefit as a bonus feature of effective products, a natural extension that creates consumer warm-fuzzies, is a boon for Mother Nature and boosts job creation.

Are you a green consumer or marketer? Which of the 12 tactics strikes you as most relevant?

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