Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

It Isn’t Always So “Friendly” Being Green

Don’t join the growing number of marketers throwing around phrases like "environmentally friendly,” “Earth friendly," and "ozone friendly." While such claims have a calming ring, they can be very misleading. The simple fact is, there is no such thing as an "eco-friendly" product; all use resources and create waste to some degree. To avoid such confusion in the marketplace, the Federal Trade Commission introduced its Environmental Marketing Guidelines in 1992. Some key takeaways:

—Be specific. Marketers are liable not only for inaccurate statements but also for consumers' misinterpretations of …Read more...

 

Make It Your Own

Look around at the all green campaigns today and you'll see a focus on personal involvement, coupled with a glut of environmental advice such as purchasing CFLs. However, amidst all the clutter, the question arises: How can you differentiate your communications in a marketplace crowded with green advertising? The answer lies not in screaming for more energy efficient products, but by articulating your niche. Consumer empowerment marketing angles have merit, but the most powerful green messaging derives from core business functions. Bland claims of "win-win" situations, of "how to do …Read more...

 

Move Over Kermit - Employees Are Taking the Eco-Spotlight

To help spread the word about their new sustainability campaigns, leading companies including Coke, Anheuser Busch, and Ford are starting to leverage one of their most powerful assets: their employees.

Using employees to promote sustainable initiatives is a winning strategy. Why? Employees are “regular people” and, as such, they are much better equipped to gain more trust and confidence of prospective consumers than splashy Hollywood celebrities, million dollar CEOs, and paid pitchmen. Employees are objective critics of their companies' greenness. If employees are viewed as involved and openly on-board …Read more...

 

Before They Buy, Consumers Have to “Buy It”

Back in December 2004, HSBC became the first major bank to commit to carbon neutrality, aiming to improve energy efficiency, buy "green electricity," and then offset the remaining carbon dioxide emissions using carbon "allowance" or "credits." As a global bank with numerous offices and branches gobbling up significant amounts of fossil fuel-generated energy, HSBC made a smart strategic move by committing to carbon management. And the scope of that commitment, paired with the strong business case for action, gave HSBC the credibility it needed to deliver an effective sustainability-focused marketing …Read more...

 

Controlling Interest

Consumers' desire to control a world that's increasingly viewed as spinning out of control lies at the heart of green marketing. If they didn't feel that greener products made a difference, there would be no market for organic produce, non-toxic cleaners, or Energy Star-qualified appliances.


method, method cleaning products, environmental marketing, environmental consulting, green business

Getting Your Consumer to 'Bite':  Green Marketing Strategies

Empower your consumers with messages that underscore the difference they make as one consumer or in concert with all the other …Read more...

 

Green, No…Greener, Maybe

You'd never know it reading the press kits, but there's actually no such thing as a green product. All products use resources and create waste to some extent. At best, there are "greener" products that have less environmental impact than others. If you're mindful of a potential green backlash (and you should be!), develop your sustainability message with this in mind.

Are you reading this, Mercedes-Benz? I hope so. That "clean-air blue" motif is cutting it a bit fine. I read somewhere that Toyota's ad agency once presented them …Read more...

 

Sustainable Branding in the 21st Century

sustainable brands image

Just got back from the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference, in Monterey, California. Over 550 people gathered to hear about the latest trends, see the leaders in sustainability speak, and learn about new tools to conduct their business in a better way.

I had the honor of keynoting the conference. Several of the points I made were iterated by many of the speakers and by participants via their insightful questions from the floor. So there's a lot of consensus out there about what …Read more...

 

Why I’m Tired of Hearing About Green Fatigue

"Green Fatigue." It's a term that's come out of the U.K. recently to describe consumers and designers who are so overwhelmed with "in your face" green marketing pitches that they have "gone back" to tried and true products and messages focused on performance and quality. I find the term preposterous! The lone U.K. journalist who coined it in the fall of 2007 may have had his own ears so tweaked to green, he may be personally fatigued, but the average consumer is just getting going. Most green-product categories only have …Read more...

 

Consumers Want Better Products, Not Processes

Many companies tout their green processes as they lobby for consumer recognition as a green company. but it would be far more productive to spotlight products instead.

Michael Mendenhall, CMO of HP, demonstrated his understanding of this when, in a recent Ad Age interview, he stated that purchasing carbon credits are not enough to qualify a company as green—that products, like his company's own Dynamic Smart Cooling System, was a "key plank" in any corporate sustainability platform.

Campaigns susch as BP's Beyond Petroleum and GE's …Read more...

 

FTC Takes on Green Packaging Claims—And Not a Moment Too Soon

As companies scurry to appeal to a fast-growing eco-consumer base, the Federal Trade Commission is stepping in to bring clarity to the arena of green marketing. As I write, numerous stakeholders are developing their testimony for an April 30 hearing on environmental claims for product packaging. Here’s a rundown of the key issues, and why they’re becoming more important by the day.

In January, the FTC held hearings with the goal of updating its Green Guides to include standards for the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. …Read more...

 

What Green Marketers Can Learn from Prius’ Success

Hardly a week goes by without Toyota’s Prius making green marketing headlines. Let's take a step back and analyze why this product has been so wildly successful, attracting a broad swath of consumers — and not just deep-green ones — like a powerful magnet, all the while creating a new definition of automotive cool. By Jacquelyn Ottman

Let’s start with the car itself. Its distinctive styling and unique silhouette acted as a moving billboard for the new technology. Inside, passengers get all the creature comforts they expect from pricier vehicles …Read more...

 

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