Jacquie Ottman's
Green Marketing Blog

How Nike Reduces Toxicity to Balance Consumer Needs with Enhanced Corporate Reputation

Toxicity affects products at every stage of their life cycle, so naturally, reducing toxicity is good for business.  As I discuss at more length in my latest book on green marketing to be released later this year, it reduces the liability associated with worker rights, and via alternatives that are safer to handle, can enhance productivity and cut workers’ compensation claims.  And of course, there’s the opportunity to market to the growing number of mainstream consumers looking for safer alternatives.

Nike’s Considered line of reduced toxic shoes

Nike aims to eliminate noxious adhesives with its Considered line which is targeted towards “deep green” consumers with innovative design that eliminates the need for excess lining and reinforcement.  Compared to Nike’s established lines, the manufacturing process reduces solvent use by 80%.  To strengthen corporate responsibility, Nike is now incorporating the principles of the Considered line into other products, such as Air Jordan XX3.

Nike knows that consumers are focused on maximum performance, so they smartly focus communications on increased performance rather than on health. However, communications targetted to employees, investors and other important stakeholders do discuss reduced toxicity, and as such enhance their brand and corporate reputation. So the value is captured more indirectly, but captured nevertheless!

Note: This blog post is excerpted from my soon-to-be-published book on doing green marketing right. Learn more and sign up to be notified of its release by linking here.

Ashley Blakemun contributed to this post.


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