Posts Tagged ‘green’

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When Green Goes Awash

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

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In the age where the word ‘green’ has become less of an adjective for a sustainable movement, and more of a corporate marketing attempt – it seems far too apparent that the cover has been blown as consumers wise up to the realities of green marketing and green branding initiatives.

With the present day economic realities partially to blame, we cannot ignore the fact that we are still faced with a recession. Unfortunately this leaves green branded products taking a heavy hit – as environmentally friendly products are viewed as an unnecessary luxury.

Sales down across the board and it’s hard to believe that it was only a mere 3 years ago, in 2008, when ‘green’ cleaning products like Green Works grossed $100 million in sales for Clorox. Fast forward three years later, sales are topping in at $60 million for Green Works today.

It would be easy to blame this digression solely on the economic downturn, however, most of the negative perceptions of green marketing and branding today are related to greenwashing.

Greenwashing, coined in 1986 by environmentalist Jay Westerveld, is used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding environmental benefits of a product or service. With claims like ‘all natural’ branded on virtually anything today from cookies to cotton and diapers to detergent – consumers are now asking questions.

And rightfully so. Past offenders, including one of the nation’s largest and most recognizable cereal companies, were communicating that their cereal’s had ‘natural ingredients’  — when in reality, the corn used had been genetically modified and engineered.

A recent study, done by TerraChoice Environmental – claims that 99% of all products labeled as “green” do not live up to their claims. With green branded products sitting at a higher price point than most consumer products today – consumer’s simply refuse to spend extra money on products that fail to deliver on a viable point of difference.

For CPG companies, consumers (and the planet) to see any future benefit from the sustainable branded business – products claiming to be better for the environment need to do more than sit on the laurels of the branded ‘green’ name.

Putting the resources, energy and focus into changing the process rather than the perception of ‘green’ will be the only way to effectively change consumers spending habits.

Take Tyson Chicken for example. When they were caught labeling their chicken “all natural” (when in fact their chicken were being held in factory farms and being fed genetically modified corn) they responded by changing the way they raise their chickens. Today, all fresh branded Tyson Chicken is raised without any antibiotics.

At the end of the day, if you are going to attempt to brand a product as better for the environment, you better make sure the benefits outweigh more than just your company’s bottom line.  Green branded products as a marketing ploy are no longer profitable (nor consumer appreciated) options.

Samantha Schroeder, Design Management

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Sterling’s New –Interactive- Cultural Pulse

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Now you can easily traverse the most important trends in brand design that continue to impact our strategies right now:

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Home Improvement Brands Can Bust Through with Forward Facing Trends

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Let’s start with the good news. As a result of the economic downturn, we’re now working with consumers who are ready to work – on their homes that is. While massive remodeling projects are pretty much out the window, consumers are more engaged in smaller, more affordable, do it yourself projects. It’s no longer about sprucing up the façade to aid in a home’s resale value. Homeowners have changed their focus toward important fixes that will protect their investment and save them money, long term. (more…)

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Puma’s New Paw Print

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Occasionally we just have to highlight truly innovative brands. Puma is doing exactly what it takes to stay competitive, maintain its mission and stay top of mind.

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Brand Communication is Changing Shape

Friday, April 16th, 2010

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Our world is changing, people are changing and technology is now very rapidly evolving. (more…)

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Get Clunk.

Monday, August 17th, 2009

By now you’ve heard about the Cash for Clunkers program instituted by the Obama Administration, and probably heard about the success of the program, need for more funding and how, as a result of the program, Ford is finally selling some cars. (more…)