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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance

Kiva.org and Advanta.com Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …