Welcome to Part 2 of our ongoing series examining “green marketing.” Today, we’re going to share five actions you can use to nudge consumers into purchasing green products.
The Harvard Business Review synthesizes various methods for a company to move consumers toward buying sustainable, eco-friendly products and help save the planet. These nudges include social influence, shaping good habits, the domino effect, talking to the heart or the brain and favoring experiences over ownership.
Tactic #1: Social Influence.
Use social norms to your advantage. Show consumers that other people are shopping green. Most consumers will in turn shop sustainable products to “keep up with the Joneses.” The Harvard Business Review uses solar panel installation as an example; a good predictor of solar panel installation is whether or not someone’s neighbors have installed panels. If you explain to your consumers that shopping sustainable is the new norm, more often than not, they will start shopping green.
Tactic #2: Shaping good habits.
Most of our daily actions are habits. Your company could shape good habits like recycling and eco-friendly shopping through informative advertising. Recycling policies differ depending on where the consumer lives. Informing them of how to recycle your product and promoting that through advertising can shape the way consumers dispose of your product.
Tactic #3: The domino effect.
If you can form eco-friendly habits in your consumers, it can have a spillover effect. Having green habits can create a positive emotion that spill out to different parts of the consumer’s life. The Harvard Business Review references IKEA’s Live Lagom initiative that prompted consumers to reduce their food waste. As a result, consumers began conserving energy and practicing other sustainable habits.
Tactic #4: Talking to the heart or to the brain.
When nudging consumers to practice green lifestyles, you as a company have to decide whether the talk to the heart or to the brain. Are you going to use emotional tactics (speaking to the consumer’s heart) or rational tactics (speaking to the consumer’s brain)?
Tactic #5: Favoring experiences over ownership.
Some companies have decided to promote experiences over ownership. The Harvard Business Review refers to companies like Honeyfund, which allows wedding guests to contribute money towards the honeymoon or the reception itself, in turn, reducing waste on material gifts. This is not an option for all companies; however, if you are in the business of selling products, you can offer recycling services to help dispose of your products in an eco-friendly way.
In the next segment, we’ll look at the barriers companies face in going green.
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