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Smiley Power: Green Marketing That Works

Could a simple smiley face on your power bill change your consumption? Utilities in various states, tired of unsuccessful attempts to encourage energy-saving strategies by their customers, are resorting to an approach based on sound neuromarketing principals: social pressure. As I noted in my post, Green Marketing Doesn’t Work, traditional appeals to “Save the Planet” aren’t effective, while pitches showing that other people are behaving as desired DO perform better.

One simple approach employed by a California utility is to use smiley (but not frowny!) faces to highlight how an individual household compares in its energy usage with its neighbors. […]

By |February 17th, 2009|

Green Marketing Doesn’t Work

Marketing eco-friendly products isn’t as easy as it might seem, particularly if the products involve some kind of sacrifice or behavioral change on the part of the consumer. Take a look at one of the supposed eco-villains, the auto industry. While one can criticize the big US auto firms (not to mention Toyota and Nissan) for continuing to push big trucks and SUVs to consumers who didn’t “need” them, the fact is that all of these firms were supplying what the consumer wanted. Yes, everyone knew that econobox cars used less fuel, emitted fewer greenhouse gases, and so on. Everyone was happy that automakers were introducing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But when individual buyers visited their local dealership, by and large societal concerns went out the window and people bought what worked best for them individually. For many buyers, massive SUVs and powerful pickups were the kind of statement they wanted to make, even if they never drove off-road and did little hauling. […]

By |September 5th, 2008|