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Stick to the basics for effective green home marketing. Right message. Right audience. Right delivery.

3 Simple Green Home Marketing Rules

November 26, 2014
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Market research consistently confirms that mainstream Americans care about sustainable choices. Yet builders are dogged in their conviction that consumers don’t care about green.

The problem isn’t that consumers don’t care about green. The problem is that consumers don’t necessarily care about green in the ways that builders think they should care.

Here are the three rules of marketing green homes:

Green Marketing Rule #1: Lead with Quality

Green homes are better built homes. Too few builders promote the quality aspect of green construction. Consumers want superior performance coupled with sustainable features.

Check out Tesla Motor ads: “Enough speed to leave anything behind, starting with FOSSIL FUEL.”

green home marketing - focus on performance

Tesla is selling its sporty eco-roadster as fast as they can make them, and not because their wealthy, alpha-male clients are looking to save on gas bills.  

Mythic Paint is the fastest growing paint company in the world. The Mythic tagline is “Legendary Performance” and it floats atop their logo with “Non-toxic paint” below.

green home marketing - focus on quality 

Here is a product that offers not just low toxicity, but zero toxicity. But their unique selling proposition is performance, plus green.

How can a builder demonstrate the home they build performs better than other homes? With the NGBS Green Certification mark. The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is a stringent, above-code standard and certified homes are twice-inspected by an independent party for compliance.

Green Marketing Rule #2: Set Yourself Apart from the Competition with Green Attributes

Flaunt your home’s environmental attributes. NGBS Green Certified homes are more comfortable, have a healthier indoor environment, and are more durable. Say it loud and say it proud! NGBS Green Certified homes have more, do more, and save more than the other homes a buyer may be considering.

Straight talk, especially very visible, easy-to-understand straight talk, is very effective. Ask, "Are the other homes you’re considering designed to manage moisture and mold? Do you want to live in a home with unvented combustion equipment?"

green home marketing - flaunt green attributes
(NGBS Green "Silent Salesperson" signage, available for NGBS Green Certified projects via www.homeinnovation.com/marketgreencertified.)

A comparison checklist is an excellent marketing tool. Equip prospective buyers with a green checklist of the features in your homes that they can use when comparison shopping. The value of green may be elusive, however, it is a mistake to think that mainstream consumers don’t care.

Green Marketing Rule #3: Promote the Benefits of Green for the Individual and Family

Forget what economists tell you. Consumers are not always rational. Individuals are emotional beings motivated to satisfy their needs and their family’s needs. What could be a more emotional experience than shopping for a home? Builders need to make sure to connect-the-dots for prospective homebuyers so they don’t have to. And make the message compelling, not confusing. Use images that support your green message.

Skip the lecture on the value of a high-SEER HVAC. Instead, explain that the high-performance home will allow them to play on the floor and not be cold.

green home marketing - emphasize buyer comfort 

Keep the green message simple and relevant.

Looking to sell green homes? The “secret sauce” is to lead with quality because an NGBS Green Certified home is simply better built than a code-minimum home. Set yourself apart with the benefits your green homes offer to the individual and the family. Target authentic green marketing messages to women who more than men aspire to a more sustainable lifestyle.

What’s your recipe for green marketing success? Do you use these techniques I’ve highlighted? If not, do you see where they could fit into your marketing scheme? I’d love to hear what has worked best for you in your market.  

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Comments

green expert div class="date">December 13, 2014 5:41 PM
"As usual the green expert needs to clarify everything. First of all disclose michelle you worked for national association of home builders.ie NAHB. Who was more than a decade late to recognize green building. Energy star and Leed lead the nation. HGBS is a water down version of Estar. There are few NGBS certified homes and they exist because the home builders want a cheap certification they can control and do not want stringent Estar guidelines. Up next the NAHB has a trade group that is segmented and fragmented leading to national consumer confusion as to what constitutes what is green. This is why NAHB is a looser, a laggard a third place useless certification. After more than a decade this trade group is a failure. Want an example? Name another energy drink besides monster? Lets get real call you to the mat why isn't the NAHB lobbying congress you specifically Michelle with your background to include energy in mortgage underwriting? Enterprise has representatives walking the congressional floor weekly. Why is KB home researching net zero homes and the NGBS does not even recognize net zero certification? When you are a failure your a failure. Yea code built homes.. more than decades before codes were designed and enacted. Big deal. Lets look at a leader California. Talk about how every home needs to be energy efficient in the next decade by mandatory law."