Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

What Green Consumer Polls Should Really Be Asking

PollingEver since the resurgence of environmentalism in 1990, consumer polls have attempted to measure awareness, attitudes and behaviors towards environmental issues and products. Poll after poll has found that consumers claim to be concerned about the issues, they report high levels of green product purchase, and even claim willingness to pay a premium for greener products and packages.

But empirical evidence doesn’t seem to jibe with the research. In some markets, green products barely eke out 3% share, in contrast to the near …Read more...

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop—but on Earth Day?

EarthDayShopping2012.jpg

This year seemed to produce a bumper crop of Earth Day promotions — and a lot of accompanying media backlash. Stories written by Marc Gunther, Matt Wheeland, and a NYTimes piece by Elisabeth Rosenthal are three I saw and I’m sure you saw more yourself.

The media are making Earth Day marketers look like the moneychangers in the temple.  Why is this happening? What can we do about it?

It’s happening because of dyed-in-the-wool skepticism over business’s real …Read more...

 

Swap, Don’t Shop: Making Green in the Sharing Economy

HappySwappingWith the development of social networking sites, user-generated content, and increased access to broadband technologies and personal computers, the Internet has been radically redefined and repositioned.  This shift towards “Web 2.0” has changed the way we communicate with one another; it has democratized the way in which information is shared amongst users; and it has collapsed geographic, political, and cultural barriers, in turn redefining our perception of community.

While it can be hard to grasp in specific terms how exactly the Internet …Read more...

 

Heineken Launches Sustainable Packaging Challenge

Heineken Ideas Brewery imageDutch beer giant Heineken just launched an online innovation platform called Heineken Ideas Brewery. The first of several challenges will focus on new ideas for sustainable beer packaging.

Check out www.ideasbrewery.com to submit your ideas for packages that address the following questions:

How can we ensure that a larger amount of beer packaging will be re-used or recycled?  What kind of new material would significantly improve the lifecycle of beer packaging?  What are your ideas concerning packaging …Read more...

 

USDA Certification Raises Bar for Biobased

With carbon footprint and energy independence on everyone’s minds, many marketers are looking to capitalize upon their product’s biobased content. But not all biobased claims are alike. The scientific rigor of an ASTM standard combined with the credibility of the USDA raises the bar for the industry and makes the USDA Certified Biobased label a new source of competitive advantage within the consumer and government procurement markets for brand owners who make the effort to get their biobased products certified.

What is “Biobased”?
There is no Webster’s definition of …Read more...

 

Book Review: Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands

In his recently released Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands (2012, CRC Press, 222 pp.), Al Iannuzzi offers a detailed and persuasive case for incorporating sustainability into your business model.  Examining both the making and the marketing of green products, his writing is firmly situated in the language of business — making it a useful resource for both business leaders and students alike.

Iannuzzi’s message is rooted in two core truths that we believe in strongly. First, there is …Read more...

 

The Rise of the Biobased Economy — and Why Brand Owners Need to Develop a Strategy in 2012

Our economy is slowly but surely heeding the signal that carbon is the new watchword. During the past few years, a steady stream of so-called “biobased” products have been making their way to retail shelves — compostable dinnerware made from corn, plant-based laundry detergents, and bamboo flooring among them. Coke and Pepsi are now competing to be first to market with a soft drink bottle derived entirely from sugarcane or other plant materials.

The emerging biobased economy even has …Read more...

 

Happy Holidays from Jacquie Ottman

Thanks for the opportunity to connect with you all this year, and for the many offline opportunities to share, collaborate, do lunch, grab coffee, conference, Skype, email, Tweet, Facebook, Linked-in and otherwise connect.  Wollman Skating Rink, New York City

Thanks especially for your support of my new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding. (Greenleaf Publishing, UK, 2010, and Berrett-Koehler, U.S. 2011)  It became the #1 seller at our …Read more...

 

Book Review: The Method Method

The Method Method bookcoverIn their new book The Method Method: 7 Obsessions that Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down, Method cofounders Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry with co-author Lucas Conley take the occasion of their unconventional company’s tenth anniversary to step back, and offer readers the opportunity to peek inside their business, learning from their mistakes and acquiring the secrets to their success.

The Method Method offers a refreshingly honest look at how to create and …Read more...

 

EPA’s Design for the Environment Label — A Route to Safer Chemicals

Some chemicals are safer than others, and the U.S. EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics’s voluntary Design for the Environment label can help consumers identify all purpose cleaners, laundry detergents and other products that have met performance measures and are known to contain the safest possible ingredients. Since its inception in 1997, the label has been earned by over 2700 products.  (Full disclosure: DfE is a former client of mine.)

A product of EPA’s now twenty-year-old Design for the Environment (DfE) Program, the …Read more...

 

Why Education is Key to Green Marketing Success

Given the complexities of greening, properly educating consumers can make the difference in the success of a campaign. One green marketer who learned the hard way about the need to educate is Whirlpool. In the early 1990s they won a $30 million “Golden Carrot” award that was put up by the U.S. Department of Energy and a consortium of electrical utilities for being the first to market with a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free refrigerator. But they misjudged consumer’s willingness to pay a 10% premium for …Read more...

 

How to Choose the Right Eco-label for Your Brand

Eco-labels are an excellent way to enhance credibility for green marketing claims, but they are not without risk. While 28% of consumers look to green certification seals or labels to confirm that a product adheres to claims, these labels can also confuse. Happily there’s enough method within the madness for marketers to pave a way forward.

Eco-labeling challenges
More than 400 different eco-labels or green certification systems are now on the market. Questions such as which label is better, which product is …Read more...

 

Toyota’s Prius: Different Strokes for Different Folks

The mainstreaming of green brings with it the need to segment audiences. As marketing efforts behind the Toyota Prius demonstrate, targeting messages to specific consumer groups can broaden appeal.

When launching the Prius in 2001, Toyota opted to target not the green-leaning drivers one might expect, but rather tech-savvy “early adopter” consumers. Featuring a beauty shot of a shiny new car parked at a stop light and illustrated by the provocative headline, “Ever heard the sound a stoplight makes?” an introductory print ad …Read more...

 

Focus On Consumer Self-Interest to Win Today’s Green Customer

If your green ads showcase the now tiresome images of babies, daisies, and planets, your messages will likely be irrelevant to mainstream consumers. Eco-imagery may have tugged at the purse-strings of “deep green” consumers, but their lighter green counterparts, who make up the bulk of the market, want to know how even the greenest of products benefit them personally. While the environment may be the underlying reason a product was created or upgraded, it will likely not be the primary motivation for consumers to choose your brand over those of …Read more...

 

Ideals on Wheels

Bicycle Rental ProgramIn many cities bicyclists battle it out with taxis for a share of the road. But all Parisians seem to agree that bicycles are a convenient, cheap, trendy, and emission-free way for locals and tourists to get around town. Representing the biking equivalent of car sharing, in 2007 the city of Paris launched Vélib, a pay-as-you-go bicycle rental program.

Bikes can be rented for pre-paid amounts of time ranging from 30 minutes to one week, and then dropped off …Read more...

 

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