Jacquie Ottman's
Green Marketing Blog

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 Ecomagination each demonstrate the power of a product-centered campaign to help position a company as socially responsible, a progressive leader, and an innovator.

When you are strategizing for your company's green campaign, keep in mind that:

Products and their marketing are highly visible to the public. Evidence of eco-inovative products can ignite enthusiasm and commitment of the public, media, employees, investors and shareholders

An estimated 75% of the impact a product throws off during its lifetime is determined at the design stage; read: it is in the purview of the business that develops it. Sometimes that impact can span several generations.

Polls show that Americans express their concern for the environment promarily through their product-related behavior—looking for eco-labels, turning lights off, or recycling at the curb—an less so, writing letters to congressmen or donating to environmental causes.

So ensure that consumers will resonate with your organization's efforts by helping them see true environmental benefits in the products or services you purvey. As part of this, empower them to consume your products responsibly—show them how to reduce the consumption of natural resources during use by providing feedback, such as Toyota does with fuel mileage meter that's onboard every Prius, or making it easy for them to recycle products a the end of their life.

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