Targeting Green Kids – Marketing To The Eco Generation

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Straddling the middle is how I might describe the trend in green products. Ecopreneurs have been producing green and eco friendly products for the home and office for years. This trend, is of course now in high gear. The smaller segment, those aimed at parents of infants and young children has taken off recently driven by the scary news out of China and the growing awareness of the toxins in baby products.

Marketing for baby products has focused on the purchaser…the parent, rather than the purchase influencer, the child…for obvious reasons. But, a whole new niche is opening up – targeting green kids.

A new study finds:

More than half of kids age 6-8 encourage their parents to buy green products, according to the report from Packaged Facts, a market research firm. Nearly three-quarters believe people should recycle, and 40% think they should buy recycled-content paper products.

What about those kids? Will they fall for the latest green gimmick? How aware are they about greenwashing.

“What’s interesting about the green trend among kids is that the kids themselves are fueling it,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Environmental awareness, even at the youngest ages, is acute.”

And they’re savvy about what it means to be green. With more and more schools, parents, television programs and media dedicated to spreading the gospel of green, kids know chemical names that leave parents tongue tied and exactly which materials are petroleum derivatives.

This is not an audience to underestimate. I’ve developed many products and promotions for this audience and have learned first have how fickle they can be. Ecopreneurs interested in targeting them need to understand what drives their purchases and their level of sophistication. Here’s a few tips:

1. Don’t talk down. Kids are more sophisticated than you think.

2. Make it relevant. One common error is developing graphics that aren’t hip or are too hip. Kids want product to reflect there own taste so error on the side of conservative rather than hip or cutesy.

3. Explain the benefit in real terms. Eco friendly means little – saves our trees or protects specific wildlife is better and is something to which kids can relate.

Kids can be much tougher consumers to reach…just ask any toy manufacturer loaded up in January with what they thought would be the hot toy of the year.

Photo Credit: gavinandrewstewert at Flickr Under Creative Commons License

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