Skip to main content

Messaging Your Green Bona Fides

Cone Communications released a new survey on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 about consumer expectations and understanding of corporate green claims, and the results are both a wake-up call and an opportunity for companies messaging their green bona fides.

In the study, called the 2012 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker, Cone found that consumers just aren’t willing to do their due diligence when it comes to the environmental impacts of a company’s products. Ergo, 73 percent of consumers want companies to provide more environmental information on products directly on the packaging. Another 71 percent wish companies would do a better job helping them understand the environment terms they use.

Some 36 percent believe that common environmental marketing terms like ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ mean that product has a positive effect on the environment. Another 18 percent believe that such terms mean that the products’ effect on the environment is neutral.

Read Cone’s press materials for more results.

To me, this reads like not only a wake-up call, but an opportunity. Consumers are telling companies, in effect, that they want to outsource their trust in the greenness of products. But right now they don’t feel like they can.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, remember that one of the main purposes of a brand is to make a kind of promise to your customers. When they see your name or logo customers your brand promises that you’ll deliver brand benefits A, B and C.

Let me repeat my first point for emphasis. Most consumers aren’t going to go to the library…or even the Internet… to decide whether your products are really and truly green. Instead, they want you to put it right on your packaging so they can just compare against others!

Two initial thoughts:
Nothing’s hotter right now than infographics. Pinterest is packed with ‘em. Infographics are graphical representations of data. That’s an infographic on the left about blenders from an outfit called coolinfographics.com.

So imagine corporate environmental messaging becoming more like an infographic on the packaging itself. Not all packaging lends itself to such summaries. It would be hard to get much else beside an infographic on a package of razors, for instance.

But boxes of cereal and bottles of laundry detergent oughta be doable. Moreover, you could certainly use QR codes and virtual reality to extend the capabilities of the smallest packaging.
The second thought is salient to the moment.
Right now there is first-mover advantage to messaging well your green commitment. Get known as the company that really lives green and can demonstrate it and that brand benefit can define your company or brand forever after.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…