EcoPinion No. 6: Green Gap Redux: Green Words Gone Wrong

Oct 13 2009

Compared to two years ago, consumers today have a greater understanding of the importance of conservation and clean energy but have not moved this awareness into action yet. The challenge for communications and marketing professionals is to make sustainability an economic value. The report points out four key gaps:
- The understanding gap - the gap between favorable associations in consumers’ minds of certain words and their actual understanding
- The language gap — gap between favorable perceptions around conservation and clean energy and their actual understanding, which, in turn, hampers action
- The commodity gap — when evaluating the adoption of renewable energy or energy conservation, two-thirds of Americans focused on either cost or value. Providers of these technologies, services and programs have a challenge in front of them to move from a commodity focus (cost) to a value creation focus in the energy market.
- Smart grid gap — consumers believe that investments in the “smart grid” will provide environmental benefits, with consumers and government benefiting the least. With almost two thirds of Americans being cost conscious or value buyers, it is imperative that marketing around “smart grid” build value dimensions associated with its cost to consumers, otherwise, smart grid will be grid locked.

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