Green is just about the most over-used color these days.  It’s like organic – it sounds great but there’s no standard definition on what is “organic,” so even those products with one ingredient like barley are now organic.

I remember learning about the “not from concentrate” story with orange juice.  The standard process back then was that the oranges were picked, the orange parts (rind, juice, etc.) were separated in the field, and then they were shipped back to the factory where the orange parts were put back together per some magic formula (including adding water).

Then some genius marketer came up with the “not from concentrate” idea.  Instead of shipping back the parts of the orange, they would simply add the water in the field then truck them back to the factory.  Technically water wasn’t added during the manufacturing process so they advertised “not from concentrate.”  Identical outcome, of course, but that’s just details.

Sales took off like wild fire as consumers were duped by the tens of millions.

It’s More About Fresh Mint Than Green

So is green yet another scam?  I think the devil is in the details.  If they are truly 100% green, then I vote we come up with a new color: like fresh mint.  It gives you that “cool” feeling in your mouth, don’t you think?  Plus green is rapidly becoming watered down, no pun intended.

Everyone agrees you shouldn’t be brown (whatever) but one thing is for sure:  your prospect isn’t willing to pay more for it. But they do expect it according to a recent Harvard Business Journal article.  It turns out that recession or not, consumers never liked paying for green products.

The Driving Force Behind Green is NOT the Consumer

If you think about it, it makes sense.  Think back to the last time you shopped for eggs in the grocery store – doesn’t it annoy you that you have to pay $4 for eggs that aren’t 4 weeks old and filled with hormones and antibiotics?

Just because a few schmucks decided to cut corners and trash our environment (and us) for profits, doesn’t mean that consumers should be impressed because a kitchen or bath product is green (or fresh mint).

Be Careful on Premiums

So if you’re using the color wheel as a way to distinguish your cabinet lines and other products be very careful you don’t tie a premium to the concept of being green in your kitchen sales process. If you do, you’ll just annoy prospects to no end.

Try to structure your pricing such that the environmentally conscious product is comparable in price to your other products.  Move your premiums to hot upgrades or services you offer and send a new message to the marketplace:

All the products we carry are for our customers long term health and peace of mind.  We believe these products should be just as affordable as the rest.

Then, as prospects look around your showroom, offer them a glass of OJ. Not from concentrate, of course.