Cracking the Green Code

One of the greatest struggles those of us in the environmental movement face is effectively messaging our positions to reach a wide range of audiences, not just those in the movement.  All too often, the mediums we use to communicate our platforms are ones largely populated by those of us in the community.  The truth is, we don’t need help convincing each other that there is a serious need to change the way we consume and use resources on this planet.  But for those not quite convinced – or those who may express a desire to be more environmentally conscious but whose words may not translate into action – there is a gap.  A “green gap,” if you will, one that exists between the expressed desire to change and the actual behavior exhibited. 

That’s why EcoAlign, a marketing firm, has offered a white paper on using psychology to understand behavior and mind set of different segments of the population called “Cracking the Green Code.” 

The abstract:

This paper has been written by psychologist John Marshall Roberts to help provoke insight and shift thinking regarding the causes and consequences of effective communications in the energy and environmental space. In it, John challenges the depth and sufficiency of existing marketing ideologies and outlines a clear, scientifically validated values-based messaging framework based upon the work of late developmental psychologist Clare W. Graves. This simple, resilient, and highly actionable framework can be easily applied to a variety of marketing and communication contexts, helping environmentally-minded professionals create messages that strategically overcome mental resistance and inspire sustainable behavior change. Several real world examples and applied research results are outlined, along with a list of concrete, short-term opportunities for professionals who wish to apply this framework within their own work-life sphere.

The piece I found most interesting was a very basic and seemingly self-evident one.  The green value proposition isn’t going to work the same on everyone.   In an ideal world, all persons would have the same committment to preserving the environment and take whatever steps necessary to do so.  But this is not an ideal world and we as communicators and marketers in the green space can’t ignore consumer bias and behavior and hope that everyone adopts our viewpoint. 

“Cracking the Green Code” provides a unique framework for looking at communications and marketing – well worth the read!

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter


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