How about going green to lose weight?

How about going green to lose weight?

If you’ve heard me speak or followed this blog much you know one of our mantras (based on years of research) is:  most people don’t go green to save the planet; they do it to satisfy deeper personal desires.  We’ve explored these deeper desires in a multitude of ways, following theories of behavioral science and psychology and building on feedback from focus groups and one-on-one interviews with consumers.  This exploratory work has led us time and time again to a few key drivers:

  • Comfort
  • Control
  • Beauty/aesthetics
  • Happiness
  • Fear of wasting
  • Security/Peace of Mind
  • Connection to nature
  • Community
  • Better health

These are, traditionally, the real reasons people go green.  Now a new driver has been put squarely on my radar screen this week (twice, no less):  weight loss.  We’ve done no testing of this, so I can’t prove that a promise of “Go green — you’ll lose weight!” will work, but I’ve seen it in action twice and thought it was worth bringing up.

A client of ours, who works in the sustainability realm, told me about several of her girlfriends reading a book from one of The Biggest Loser cast members.  It espouses eating organic foods as a way to lose weight.  Apparently all these friends were suddenly interested in pumping our client for everything she knows about going green, hoping her knowledge would somehow help them lose weight.  And Kirstie Alley has just launched a new venture called Kirstie Alley’s Organic Liaison, also espousing her organic food program and “foods you don’t put in your closet” as the key to weight loss.  (It’s a bit bizzare, but watch her welcome video below and see how she’s using “eat organic…lose weight…be sexy” as a marketing ploy.)

Again, we’ve not tested it, but based on years of sitting behind the glass at focus groups listening to hundreds of consumers talk about the reasons they go green, I think it’ll work. We know sex sells any number of products and what makes a woman feel sexier than losing 10 pounds (besides losing 20 or 30 pounds, that is)? We’ll be testing green advertising and packaging claims in our Eco Pulse focus groups next month, and we’ll be sure to test weight loss as a message and see how it plays.  We’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, if any of you have actually used this message to sell a green product, do tell!

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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