Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

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...

 

Green Marketing 3.0 Can Re-ignite Interest in Green

Rumors of green’s demise are being greatly exaggerated.  In this year of fiery political passions, the word “revolt” is in the air.  However, I think Ad Age inhaled a whiff of the zeitgeist and incorrectly applied the term to consumers supposedly cooling in their ardor for green products.  “Has Green Stopped Giving? Seeds of Consumers Revolt Sprouting Against Some Environmentally Friendly Product Lines” trumpets the headline of a recent Ad Age article.  The author quotes Timothy Kenyon, director of GfK Roper’s Green Gauge study who more judiciously describes the …Read more...

 

Terrachoice’s Sins of Greenwashing Report—Time for Industry Self-Regulation?

dried green paint Most of you are familiar with      Terrachoice’s “Seven Sins of   Greenwashing” report.  On a webinar aired in late October, CEO Scott McDougall admitted that his firm never intended to be malicious in their use of the term, “sins”.  He believes that most of the “sins” of greenwashing being committed today are really not sins at all, but rather, inadvertent missteps. 

Call me literal, or not a fan of hyperbole, but I believe that calling, in effect, …Read more...

 

Green Marketing Myopia and the SunChips “Snacklash”

SunChips bagsMany marketing experts have weighed in on what they believe to be the reasons for the current backlash against SunChips’s new compostable chip package: excess noise. If you somehow missed it, consumers complained so loudly about the snack food’s new environmentally preferable but noisy corn-based bag  that the brand reverted to the old packaging for most of its line. Before we blame consumers once again for not sacrificing a little inconvenience for the sake of the planet, let’s …Read more...

 

Two Birds, One Switch? Brightening The Future With A Dark Idea

This is a guest blog post by Catie Carter.

"Lights Out New York" Press Release Picture

     For two months this fall, many of the cities largest buildings, including the Chrysler building, and Rockefeller Center, are turning their lights off. New York City Audubon has organized the fifth annual “Lights Out New York” in an effort to help migratory birds. Buildings participating in “Lights out New York” have agreed to turn their lights off from midnight to dawn from September 1st to November 1st.

Read more...

 

Stand By Your Cause: What Marketers Can Learn From Dawn’s Involvement In The Gulf Oil Spill

Washing Bird with DawnLong marketed by Procter & Gamble as an “effective yet gentle” way to keep dishes free from even the greasiest of grease, Dawn dishwashing liquid was widely publicized during the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in 1989 as an ideal way to remove residue from afflicted bird and mammal species.

Fast forward to mid-April 2010, just days before the 40th anniversary celebration of Earth Day. P&G decided to create awareness for its 30-year long support of bird rescue groups …Read more...

 

Opportunities for Marketing to the Green Consumer

Consumers buy over $200 billion of natural personal care and cleaning products, organic produce, hybrid cars, fair trade coffee, compostable plates and cups, and other green products and services.

Please join me on February 4, 2010 (in New York City) for Opportunities to Market to the Green Consumer.  Network with members of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club and other senior marketing professionals from New York.  Listen to green marketing practitioners from HSBC, Ozocar and Sundance Channel talk about opportunities to build green brands, innovate new products and services, and …Read more...

 

Why Jacquie Ottman’s Green Marketing Remains Relevant

Guest post by Peter Korchnak, who writes the Sustainable Marketing Blog.

I recently read for the first time and reviewed Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation (2nd edition) and this is what struck me: "[M]ost of what I read nowadays about sustainability and marketing, Jacquie covered in Green Marketing more than a decade ago."

Though sustainability* has made inroads throughout the corporate world, with the likes of Nike and Walmart implementing sustainable practices on a large scale, green marketing literature and blogs recycle the …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...

 

Is There a gDiaper in Your Baby’s Future?

gdiapers

Can anyone topple the disposable diaper giants?  The makers of gDiapers promise an attractive, well fitting, convenient diaper that can be flushed, home composted or tossed. All parents want a diaper that is easy to dispose of, safe, absorbent, and affordable.  Can gDiapers provide all of this with less load on the planet?  Let’s see how the facts stack up.

Diaper Facts:  Sustainable vs. Conventional

There’s no doubt that disposables are the easiest to use.  All you do is undo the plastic …Read more...

 

Address Sustainability or Risk Not Being Sustained

In an age where sustainability has begun to assert itself across the consumer and business-to-business product spectrums, those managers who fail to respond to social and "green" initiatives will find their brands swiftly barred from consumers' hearts and pockets.

Films like Supersize Me and An Inconvenient Truth are radically altering the marketing landscape. In response to such media, McDonald's has launched a bevy of healthy alternatives, and the market for hybrid and alternative fuel (ethanol/bio-diesel) automobiles is booming.  This method of creating change through media has consumers better informed …Read more...

 

How Far, Pray Tell?

How far have your products traveled from manufacturing plant or farmer's field to market? Perhaps it's time to tell your consumer. In a marketplace where more and more consumers want to know their carbon footprint, and the marketers themselves are often confused about how to craft their sustainability messages, meaningful, easy-to-understand information is at a premium. Too many think, for instance, that bamboo (which travels 6,000 miles to get to your floor) and fair trade bananas are going to "save the planet," when the truth is that locally procured alternatives …Read more...

 

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