Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

New Nissan Ads Shift the Way Car Buyers Evaluate Options

Nissan Ad 062311Many 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 …Read more...


Why Eco-Innovation is the Best Response to Greenwashing

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 …Read more...


What Greenwash Can Learn from Snake Oil

snake oilIf 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 …Read more...


Are We Ready to Move Sustainability Forward?

compass guiding green marketingAs 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, …Read more...


“New Rules of Green Marketing” Named One of Top 40 Books on Sustainability

Green Marketing GuideI’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 …Read more...


6 New Values Change The Way Consumers Buy

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 …Read more...


Will I See You at Sustainable Brands ‘11?

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.

Register …


New Sun Chips Bag Proves Frito-Lay Has Learned Its Green Marketing Lesson

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. 

As I commented this


Green Marketing Is Alive and Kicking

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, …Read more...


Green Marketing. Not Dead, Just Misdirected.

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 …Read more...


We Are All Green Consumers —  Now And For The Future

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 …Read more...


The New Green Marketing Paradigm

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 …Read more...


Give Your Stuff Away Day - May 14


If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of extra stuff that you no longer want, but would like to see end up in a safe new home.

This year, turn your spring cleaning into an opportunity to clean out your closet and clean up the planet. On Saturday, May 14, 2011, join me by participating in “Give Your Stuff Away Day”. It’s as simple as bringing your stuff to the curb.

“Give Your Stuff Away Day”, which Mike Morone is hoping …Read more...


The Value of Authentic Green Branding

I opened the business section of my New York Times on Earth Day and noted with dismay the lead article, “As Shoppers Cut Back Spending, “Green Products” Lose Allure”.   It reported that green brands launched in recent years by mainstream marketers such as Clorox (Green Works) and S.C. Johnson (Nature’s Source), had experienced sharp sales declines during 2009 and that introductions of green brands were off during that period, too.

And then I perked up. The article went on to report that, in stark contrast —even during …Read more...


Are You Following The New Rules of Green Marketing?

Upon returning from my recent vacation, I discovered this spectacular review of my new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing on Park Howell’s blog. It was utterly heartwarming to read how eloquently he captured everything that I was trying to achieve with the book, so I am reprinting it here in its entirety to share with you all. Thank you, Park Howell for such a well-written and generous review!


Are You Following The New Rules of Green Marketing?

Blog post by Park Howell

April 5, 2011

“She corrected …


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