A column in yesterday’s Environmental Leader addressed the so-called “green noise” or “green fatigue” some believe is beginning to plague consumers. Is the deluge of often contradictory environmental messages overwhelming consumers? The answer is yes and no.
Cone’s most recent environmental research, the Green Gap Survey, found consumers are not as apathetic or cynical as many recent headlines would have us believe. Yes, many consumers admit they are overwhelmed by the amount of environmental messages they hear and see, but more than a third say they feel informed or educated when hearing messages about the environmental practices and impacts of companies and organizations. The takeaway is that although the breadth of environmental messages and marketing may be overpowering, individual messages can still resonate. And frankly, there is merit even in the environmental debates (organic versus local? incandescent versus CFL with trace amounts of mercury?) that are ensuing- it indicates a high level of environmental consciousness in the marketplace.
There is no doubt that as exaggerated claims and irresponsible messages mount, so too do fatigue and skepticism. Amidst the environmental noise, however, the opportunity still exists for companies to make their messages educational and realistic and to demonstrate to consumers how they can continue to make changes in their daily lives. By providing turnkey opportunities that empower consumers, companies will serve as a trusted resource as Americans navigate the increasingly complex “green” landscape.
Visit www.earthkeeper.com to see how Timberland (a Cone client) is using new media to engage environmentally conscious citizens in its Earthkeepers initiative.