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6 Ways to Get Customers to Buy Green

How do green products pay and how do you encourage your customers to buy green products?

Customers will pay up to 5 to 10 per cent more for responsible products or services if function and quality remain the same.

How Do We Get Customers To Buy Green?

1. Get third-party certifications to endorse your green products.

In one study, consumers were willing to pay 16 per cent more per pound for Fair Trade Certified beans.

2. Increase the percentage of product sales going to charity.

Customers will pay more for utilitarian products like toilet paper if 10 per cent of the purchase price goes to a cause rather than 5 per cent.

3. Surprise your customers by giving a portion of utilitarian product sales to an unrelated charity.

In the same study, customers were more willing to pay for products that donated high amounts to unrelated causes than for products that donated high amounts to expected causes.

4. Avoid guilt-inducing marketing that conjures negative feelings.

In a study of ethical consumption, people were more than twice as likely to choose Fair Trade teas when the marketing made them feel good about the ethical product rather than guilty about the unethical product.

5. Offer a discount when functionality is compromised, or when the product is “risky.”

In a study from Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, customers demanded discounts for green products with perceived safety or functional issues, like re-treaded tires or cell phones.

6. Realize CSR means little to luxury brands.

Researcher Carlos Torelli of the University of Minnesota and colleagues found participants evaluated luxury brands like Rolex less favourably in CSR conditions.

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  • Lauren Turner

    Lauren completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master’s in Environment and Sustainability at Western University. She interned with the Network for Business Sustainability as part of the MES program, and continued to edit and contribute content to the network in the years following. She later completed a Master’s in Insurance and Risk Management from the MIB School of Management in Italy, where she focused on environmental risk mitigation strategies in the face of changing market sentiments towards low carbon. Lauren has worked primarily in the non-profit and higher-ed sectors in Toronto and London over the past decade. Her work has revolved around corporate social responsibility in mining and minerals governance, stakeholder engagement, project and program management, and writing/editing for corporate audiences. Her writing has focused on the intersection of sustainability and finance, access to capital, investor risk, consumer behaviour, and sustainable marketing. She is interested in conversations around how industry can hedge against risk and benefit financially from improving the sustainability of their operations.

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