Going Green Is Great, But Will It Lead To Sales?

Half Truth: “Green-ness” is a crucial factor when women consider purchasing products.

Whole Truth: “Green-ness” is secondary–it’s more important that a product work well than benefit the environment.

Thanks to the strength of their convictions, women often make marketers think trends are bigger than they are. The green trend, for example, is a case of women being selectively honest. Women will spout their green credentials effortlessly because it presents them as more conscientious consumers. ‘I only buy organic.’ ‘My home is healthier because of green products.’ Saying you’re exclusively green or that you are scrupulously earth conscious is accurate for some, but we have found it’s claimed more often than it’s true. Women know that green is good and waste is bad, so after adopting a green behavior or two, they will start to talk as if they’re actually growing their dinner and recycling the plates, even if their only green gesture is a bottle of Method tile spray in the shower.

We don’t mean to underestimate the power of the green movement and the growing number of consumers who try to make choices that sustain the planet. Niche, squeaky green brands like Seventh Generation have penetrated the cleaning aisles of the biggest chains. But mass brands like Clorox Greenworks cleaned up by offering a dose of feel-good green clean with the silent but mighty hero name of Clorox to assure germ killing. By securing the imprimatur of the Sierra Club and others, the brand has managed to tread the narrow line between green and effective. And we’ve heard that many women are displaying their Greenworks products on their countertops, a giveaway to their badge value.

Green, organic, natural, locally grown, no matter what the language, intent to purchase is often overturned when pricing comes up. Our take on the Whole Truth? She’s ‘green-ish’ and can be more practical than purist. Women are still figuring out their green ground rules. Be careful that you don’t assume that the green game she talks will end up as cash in the register at the end of the day.

Want to learn more about half and whole truths? This post is straight from our book, What She’s Not Telling You: Why Women Hide the Whole Truth and What Marketers Can Do About It. Read the first chapter online HERE, and grab a copy for yourself from Amazon.

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April 13, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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