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Actionable insights from Brandology®
Experts in marketing strategy, strategic planning, trend tracking,
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Being Seen Being Green
We all suspected it, but now there’s research to prove it. Consumers are more likely to buy green products if those products clearly telegraph their greenness. Consumers want to do the right thing, especially if they can let people know they are doing it.

What’s more, people who buy products that signal sustainability or charitable giving assume that they are more altruistic than their friends and family who do not buy similar possessions. And, they feel better about themselves because of it.

According to quantitative research done by two marketing professors from New York University, the most compelling green products are ones that proclaim their sustainability via recognizable physical attributes---color, shape, etc.---and can be used with their friends. That’s not to say that people won’t buy products that are “invisibly green” and for individual use. But they don’t rate them as highly.

This research confirms what some green product companies have said all along: they don’t want to create products just like “regular” products except more planet friendly. They want to create products that work as well as “regular” products, but visually scream their sustainability credentials not just on their packaging, but during everyday use.

We should think about...
  • Can we add strong physical signals of greenness to our sustainable products?
  • Can we make our sustainable products better suited for use in social settings?
Sources: MediaPost 2009; Trendwatching 2009
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