All the green cleaners and detergents in the world won’t help if people refuse to buy them. Persuading your average consumer to buy green products requires a nuanced understanding of psychology and an appreciation for the persistence of cultural memory, or the persistent myth that green products simply don’t work as well.
This myth is not the only reason why green cleaning products don’t sell well, but it is one of the main reasons why consumers do not like to buy green products. Furthermore, “greenwashing” (claiming that everything is environmentally friendly when such claims are dubious, at best) has diluted the impact of claiming sustainability, and led consumers to become skeptical of anything that purports to be good for the planet. Cost and availability are two additional factors that impact consumer choices, though these may be less important than what people may believe.
A product that is sold as being “green” is likely to be met with indifference. Simply being good for the environment does not provide the consumer with a value that would benefit them. However, a product with a tagline “gentle but effective” provides parents (and people with eczema) with something of value (safety). If it happens to be good for the planet, all the better.
But consumers are also seeing through the marketing claims more frequently these days, and this is especially true of millennials, who tend to be uncompromising when it comes to value. One of these principles is transparency, though this may have its downfalls when it comes to misinformation and compromises that invariably have to be made in business. For example, palm oil is getting a bad reputation these days, for being a rain-forest-destroying-orangutan-killing industry. But the reality is that all of the palm oil-based products sourced by Sirius come from sustainably-managed palm plantations, and that palm trees are actually one of the more efficient sources of fatty acids. If we were to boycott palm oil, then the palm farmers would burn their palm plantations (that’s not green) and plant other crops, which can take up to 5X more land to yield the same amount of oil. Apart from the fact that no other vegetal oil than palm (kernel) oil provides the C12-C16 carbon chain distributions which is needed in effective surfactants.
The Sirius Effect:
Giving people what they want is hard enough. If they don’t even know what they want then the job can seem impossible. With Sirius, at least building a good, green cleaning agent is easy. Want to find out how our products can help you influence consumers during the launch of your next product line? Call us today.
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