Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

Proper Medicine Disposal Is the Next Big Green Marketing Thing

If you read nothing else today, read this link to "Proper Medicine Disposal Prescribed Daily" by Andrea Nocito.  How many times have you cringed when throwing away unused prescription drugs? Flushing them down the toilet, as described, is not the answer either.

I have long suspected that prescription drug disposal will be the Next Big Issue in green marketing and sustainable product development. We desperately need a mechanism for allowing consumers to take back unused drugs. 

I believe one solution might be to require druggists to fill prescriptions only …Read more...


Happy Birthday J. Ottman Consulting—Celebrating 20 Years

Dear Clients and Friends,

Today marks twenty years since I started J. Ottman Consulting.

A lot has happened since 1989!  I thought green would be mainstream by 1995 (!), but I’m delighted to see it’s finally here.

In 1989 there were no green conferences, books on green marketing or green websites (or even the Web).  Today it’s gratifying to go to conferences, socialize on Twitter and Linked In, and see how many consumers, professionals and organizations are now incorporating the environment into their decisions and purchasing.


Think Global, Market Local

How does Frito-Lay's new marketing campaign seek to change the conversation about "local" food -- and what are the implications for Frito-Lay's sustainability efforts? By Jacquelyn Ottman and Sarah McGrath

Frito-Lay’s new “Lay’s Local” marketing campaign attempts to reposition their mass-produced potato chips as a local food. New ads celebrate the eighty plus farmers in 27 states who grow the two billion pounds of potatoes used in Lay’s chips each year. They then direct consumers to a website where they can trace the potatoes in their bag of chips back …Read more...


Certification and Eco-Labeling: What New Players Can Learn from Energy Star

What can up-and-coming eco-labels learn from the success and longevity of the Energy Star program in order to become more familiar with consumers? By Rosemary De Vos

Do eco-labels and certifications drive purchasing? Can they be developed and marketed credibly? Given all the noise in eco-labelling right now, is there one bit of room for a new player?

At the Sustainable Brands 09 conference in Monterey in early June, there was hard evidence to suggest that certification and labeling are in fact influential in getting consumers to opt for …Read more...


Alternatives to Eco-Labels

Eco-labels are a popular and effective way to certify that a product really is as green as it claims to be. But what are some alternatives to eco-labeling, and what are the benefits of steering away from third-party certification? By Jacquelyn Ottman, with Sarah McGrath

Congratulations! You have a shiny new green product and you want to market it the right way. You worked hard to make it state-of-the-green-art – and you want people to believe that the product really is as green as you claim it to be. You naturally …Read more...


Watch Out, Prius!

The Toyota Prius currently dominates the market for hybrid cars, but the Honda Insight wants to change that. Who will come out on top in 2009? By Jacquelyn Ottman, with Sarah McGrath

After selling 285,000 Priuses in 2008, Toyota’s star vehicle has taken a big hit in 2009—sales are down 45 percent since January. To compound Toyota’s hybrid troubles, Honda re-launched its Insight hybrid earlier this spring—right on the heels of the introduction of the Prius Third Generation. Based on our assessment of the marketing efforts behind the …Read more...


Scott Naturals—Green Done Right?

Does a new line of green paper products really live up to its tag line of “Green Done Right?” By Jacquelyn Ottman, with Sarah McGrath

On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Kimberly-Clark launched Scott Naturals, a line of household paper products made from partially recycled content. Marketing communications sport the tag line “Green Done Right.” One could argue this line overstates Kimberly-Clark’s achievement, but the company deserves to be lauded for taking a step in the right direction.

“Turn over a NEW leaf…and take a green step without …Read more...


EcoPower to the People

Whom do you trust to make green marketing claims? The answers surprised us. Yesterday at the Sustainable Brands ’09 Conference in Monterey, California, we polled all 350 participants about the notion of trust when it comes to verifying green claims and create standards for products.

We specifically asked these on the cutting edge of green and sustainability leaders and activists who they themselves trusted to this important task, who consumers trusted, and who they thought was best equipped to verify claims and create standards for green products and …Read more...


Green Marketing Success Strategies From Sustainable Brands ‘09

Optimism is the sentiment coming from the Sustainable Brands 09 conference taking place in Monterey, California this week.  Consumer polls suggest that concern about the environment (relative to the economy) and stated intent to spend premiums on green brands is holding up in a tight times. Importantly, this is being played out in the green marketplace as well.

Concrete case examples of brand successes being presented at the conference suggests that pursuing a course of sustainable branding is indeed the route to sustainability even—against a backdrop of the toughest …Read more...


A Tale of Two Green Surveys

One recent consumer survey says it is the best of green times; another, the worst of green times. Has trying to protect the environment gone out the window in the current recession - or not?By Jacquelyn Ottman, with Lisa Martin

The 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey, released in February, maintains that, "Consumer interest in environmental purchasing not eclipsed by poor economy." The report finds that 34% of American consumers indicate they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products today, and another 44% indicate that their environmental shopping …Read more...


Greenest Notebooks—or Just Boldest Ads?

In a recent blog post, Bob Pearson, Dell’s VP of community outreach and green marketing, panned Apple over a well-publicized - and ostensibly controversial - ad campaign, "The Greenest Family of Notebooks." As one of Dell’s biggest competitors, it comes as no surprise that Dell would have some not-so-friendly things to say about Apple’s bold green marketing effort.

Among Pearson’s scathing accusations, he claims that Apple's self-proclaimed "world's greenest laptops" are more smoke-and-mirror rhetoric than substantiation, and that Dell's laptops demonstrate a greater commitment to the …Read more...


Hey, Nestle: Don’t Communicate—Eco-Innovate!

If only Nestle had used good green marketing efforts and communicated its efforts to green its bottled water business sooner, it wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in now. Right? Wrong!

Contrary to what Kim Jeffery, CEO of Nestle Waters, laments to BusinessWeek, the real issue with bottled water lies in consumers’ minds (and the advocates who influence them), not in pricey carbon analyses showing that lightweighting the plastic bottle is the solution to reducing the environmental impact of bottled water. The real issue simply …Read more...


Does a Weak Economy Mean Weak Green Sales?

Green marketers of every stripe have been asking me: "Will a weak economy weaken sales of green products?" For people who think green products cost more, the answer is yes. To (reverse) paraphrase John F. Kennedy, a sinking sea should lower all boats. And it's still a little early to tell if sales of many green products and services have been hurt quarter to quarter.

The key thing to focus on, however, is how a softening economy might not dampen your own green products sales. In some cases, it just …Read more...


The Power of Green Lies In Marketers’ Hands

Many people think the power to restore our environment lies in the hands of technical types like scientists and engineers, even lawyers and legislators. But the real power of green lies in the hands of marketers - we, the creative folks who have the power to design and promote cleaner products and technologies and help consumers evolve to more sustainable lifestyles.

It may be hard to fathom, but over 75% of the environmental impact that a product throws off during its lifetime is determined at the design stage, when, for …Read more...


Exxon Called “Climate Friendy”...What Did You Expect?

The five companies consumers consider most "climate friendly" are GE, BP, Toyota, Wal-Mart, and Exxon. Here's why I'm not surprised (ok, maybe a little).

On the surface, the results of a recent survey by U.K.'s Climate Group and Lippincott, the brand consultancy firm, seem to fly in the face of what all card-carrying sustainability pros believe - walk the walk or consumers will cry "BS!" The survey found that 76% of Americans couldn't name a single "climate-friendly" company despite significant amounts of investment by American businesses attempting to portray their …Read more...


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