Jacquie Ottman's
Green Marketing Blog

Taking the Green Marketplace to the Next Level

Of all of the amazing examples, facts, figures, and case studies in Jacquie Ottman’s new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing, the one I find most encouraging comes early in the book, on page 12: More than 300,000 applications for green-related brand names, logos, and tag lines were applied for in 2007, and Datamonitor reports a tripling of sustainable product launches. What a tidal wave of innovation! And, just in time! As green mainstreams, and we all adjust to new marketplaces, new consumers, and new economics, breakthrough innovations in products (and, maybe even more likely, services) are necessary to keep the green marketplace appealing for consumers of all shades of green.

Wider Selection of Green Products
Certainly anyone paying the slightest bit of attention is aware of the much wider selection of green products we have to choose from now versus even two years ago. And, it’s important to keep that momentum going, for a couple reasons. First, it draws mainstream consumers into the marketplace. LOHAS consumers, the early adopters and most avid green consumers, can’t transform the marketplace alone. With the wider array of products on the marketplace, mainstream consumers like NATURALITES, DRIFTERS and CONVENTIONALS are quickly switching from the “brown” brands they have been using to greener alternatives.

Secondly, LOHAS consumers are ready for the next wave of green products. LOHAS consumers self-identify as early adopters and influencers, and if everyone else is being green, they want to go even deeper into the green lifestyle. We’ve seen their usage rates of products of green products stabilize over the past year, even though their interest in green alternatives remains high. For a variety of reasons, the existing product assortment may not meet their needs, and that creates opportunity for new green products, brands, and benefits. Simply put, they need more choices. Ideally, those choices will not just be greener versions of existing products. LOHAS consumers have been there and done that, and they’re ready for the next level.

Exemplary Eco-innovations Possible
Examples of innovation I like include IDAPT, which is making life easier by developing universal electronics chargers, and simultaneously greener by using recycled materials and incorporating an automatic “power off” when the charge is complete, eliminating one source of ghost power. And, the website inhabit.com provides a running commentary of good, green design - products that are cool whether you just like good design, green design, or both - truly refreshing! True sustainability innovation, as Jacquie writes in her book, is not just about greening your existing product, but reimagining your company’s response to the consumer need, most likely in totally different formats. While more difficult, examples such as these show that it can be done, and when done well, consumers of all shades of green will be eager to give your new product a shot.

Gwynne Rogers is LOHAS Research Director, The Natural Marketing Institute, Harleysville, Pennsylvania.


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