Green marketing Blog
Posted on July 18, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Tom’s of Maine can make the toothpaste more natural, but they can’t force consumers to turn the water off when they brush. Coke can make the bottles recyclable, but only consumers can drop them in the blue bin. Sun Chips can make the bags compostable, but only consumers can see that they get to a composting pile instead of a trash can.
Communications can fill this gap. With life cycle risks escalating over time, green marketers must now educate their consumers on how to use and dispose of their products responsibly. And empirical evidence …Read more...
Posted on July 11, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
While researchers are looking to the sun, the wind and even ocean tides to source renewable energy, some have found an answer much closer to home: the gym. This notion dawned on the owner of a string of gyms in Hong Kong, who rigged cycling and cross-training machines to power a gym’s lights and store extra energy in batteries for later use.
The Human Power Trainer, made by Windstream Power LLC of North Ferrisburg, Vermont, works on the same concept. It mounts a bicycle on a frame. The rear tire turns a turbine …Read more...
Posted on July 01, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
You hear a lot of talk about the “sin of the hidden trade-offs.” I’ve got news for you, folks. Greening—like life itself—is all about the trade-offs! No product is 100% “green.” So, considering that all products use energy and create waste, green is a relative term. One product is green-er for someone at some time in some place.
Green is Relative
For instance, cloth diapers might not cause any trees to be chopped down, but they do use a lot of hot water. Disposable diapers don’t use water but they do clog …Read more...
Posted on June 26, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Many new green brands have been introduced over the years with what I’ve called “green marketing myopic” pitches (think GE’s “dancing elephants” and Conoco’s “cheering dolphins”), only to realize the opportunity to link environmental product attributes with the primary reasons why consumers buy (all) products in the first place. Nissan fell into this camp with the polar bear ads for their new LEAF electric vehicle. However, their new campaign suggests that Nissan’s marketing team is on an vertical learning curve, and in my estimation, represents some of the sharpest …Read more...
Posted on June 23, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
As the kickoff speaker to the Sustainable Brands ‘11 conference in Monterey last week, I took it upon myself to lower the boom on greenwash. Rather than trying to parse out the “sins” among us, I encouraged the several hundred participants to focus on what I believe are much larger problems, among them: better products, and an industry that’s ready, willing and able to self-regulate.
Yes, mystifying claims certainly threaten the legitimacy of sustainable business. Exaggerating the evils of greenwashing, however, may gradually discredit the entire green market as a whole. Insisting that greenwashing is more intentional than accidental will …Read more...
Posted on June 13, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman & Mark Eisen
If we treat greenwash, we’re treating a symptom. We’re not finding and treating the problem, if indeed there is one, at least to the extent the hype would lead one to believe. We have to realize that first, the definition of greenwash is to be intentionally misleading. We don’t think that’s the case today, except in limited instances. Some history is in order.
In probably what could be thought of as the first era of greenwashing and one of the first advertising industry projects, patent …Read more...
Posted on June 08, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
As I asserted to hundreds of attendees at the Sustainable Brands ‘11 conference last evening, greenwash is not the real problem holding consumers back from getting more involved in sustainability. Greenwash is merely a symptom of what I believe to be the real problem—an immature industry ‘eco-system’. The ‘eco-system’ of stakeholders that supports us is not broken—it just hasn’t matured around us. We have marketers who are inadvertently greenwashing because they don’t know better and importantly, green claims are not being enforced by government or retailers.…Read more...
Posted on June 06, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
I’m thrilled to announce that my book The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding was recently named to the list of Top 40 Sustainability Books of 2010 by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), University of Cambridge (U.K.).
Other titles on the list include: Our Choice (Al Gore), Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid (Ted London & Stuart L. Hart), The Power of Sustainable Thinking (Bob Doppelt), and Prosperity Without Growth (Tim Jackson). See a full list here.…Read more...
Posted on June 03, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
A radical shift is happening in the marketplace—consumers are increasingly basing purchasing decisions not just on value, but on their values.
As I describe in my new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler; February 2011), now more than ever, consumers of all stripes are demanding that the brands they buy and the companies that make them, share their own personal social and environmental values.
Consumers are increasingly seeing businesses as linchpins with the resources and the incentives to address pressing societal needs (and this …Read more...
Posted on May 31, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Sustainable Brands ‘11 kicks off on June 7. This year’s theme is “Play On!”
I’ll be giving a kick-off talk on how to move sustainability forward through the power of educated, enlightened consumers.
I’ll also be doing a special signing for my new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler, 2011).
Link to the SB’11 Pre-Game Webinar Series to see a sneak peek of some of the ideas I will be sharing.
Posted on May 23, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Remember the brouhaha last fall over Sun Chips’ noisy “compostable” bag? It prompted Frito-Lay to withdraw the special bags on all but their “Original” flavor (which they retained as a show of support for their green strategy). They’ve just come out with a quieter option. It’s on-pack messaging tones down the composting message, and in doing so demonstrates, however counter intuitively it may appear, that they have actually learned some valuable lessons about how to do green marketing right.
Posted on May 19, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
It all depends upon how we define green marketing. If we define it as, “Planets, babies and daisies and empty green claims,”, then yes, green marketing is dead. Let’s bury it. No product is truly green—all products use energy and create waste.
However, if we define it as I do, “serving customers needs with products that perform equally well or better, and providing the consumer with transparent information based upon sound science”... If we add to that ” leading our messaging with primary benefits—the money savings, the genuine health benefits, the convenience associated with sharing a car or owning one—(or …Read more...
Posted on May 19, 2011 by Guest Blogger, Irv Weinberg
Some pundits declare that green marketing is dead. To quote Mark Twain, ” the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” I think the same can be said of green marketing.
Here at Mind Over Markets we’ve been saying for years that green marketing messages have not been communicated correctly right from the start.
The first task of green marketing, like all other marketing, should have been an analysis of benefits. First to the consumer and then to the planet. Too many opted for the first instinct, save the planet, as though you could …Read more...
Posted on May 18, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Green has gone mainstream. Not too long ago, just a small group of deep green consumers existed. Today, 83% of consumers (Source: Natural Marketing Institute, 2009) - representing four generations, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen Ys and Gen Zs - are some shade of green. Each in their own way, these generations are quickly transforming what used to be a fringe market that appealed to a faction of eco-hippies is now a bona fide $290 billion industry ranging from organic foods to hybrid cars, ecotourism to green home furnishings. Teen daughters of yesterday’s activist moms search out Burt’s Bees lip balm …Read more...
Posted on May 16, 2011 by Jacquelyn Ottman
Conventional marketing is out. Green marketing and what is increasingly being called “sustainable branding” is in. According to the new rules of green marketing, effectively addressing the needs of consumers with a heightened environmental and social consciousness cannot be achieved with the same assumptions and formulae that guided consumer marketing since the postwar era. Times have changed. A new paradigm has emerged requiring new strategies with a holistic point of view and eco-innovative product and service offering.
Historically, marketers developed products that met consumers’ needs at affordable prices and then communicated the benefits of their brands in a memorable …Read more...