Consumers are resisting the proliferation of “green” communications and products being pushed at them from all directions. The recent Cone/Boston College survey showed that more than half of American consumers are “overwhelmed” by the tsunami of environment-related messaging. Less than half trust companies to tell them the truth about sustainable practices and products. Even fewer consumers believe companies are accurately communicating their environmental impact.
We are witnessing green fatigue on a grand scale. This is a huge threat to everything the environmental movement has worked so hard for, that consumers have valued, and that manufacturers and marketers have struggled to deliver. It is also threatening the credibility — and sustainability — of the marketing industry itself. People with no technical expertise in the complex harmonies that sustainability demands, no capacity to help a company reinvent its products or processes, and no sense of urgency are promising quick fixes and cheap tricks.
Quick fixes and cheap tricks. Isn’t that the story of our industry’s life? Yes, I believe it is.
At any rate, Werbach proposes we move to blue. He says, “Green puts the planet at the center of the dialogue; blue puts people — consumers and shoppers — at the center.” Werbach’s blue has three pillars: Price, Purpose and Process.