Green Marketing in a Struggling Economy

So you want to help the environment by being more eco-friendly and increasing your green efforts, but think that it is too expensive? Many people wonder if they should cut back on green marketing and their green efforts in a struggling economy, but in fact you should do quite the opposite. I read in the September issue of Deliver, a marketing magazine, that it is actually a “hook to getting through them”. They say that green marketing improves your efficiencies, increases customer loyalty, and differentiates your brand.

Wal-Mart-Eco-Friendly-EffortsTake for instance, Wal-Mart’s green efforts. Wal-Mart’s “Earth Month” green marketing efforts included print ads for 10 different green products under $10 and “rollbacks” on environmentally-friendly products. Customers are looking for ways to save money in a tough economy, and Wal-Mart is helping them do that, while still having a positive environmental effect.

Eco-Friendly-Efforts-SunChips-Solar-EnergyGreen marketing also increases customer loyalty. Frito-Lay’s SunChips brand gained customers by showing them that green is both good for them and the environment. They started this marketing plan after seeing market research from 2006 that showed that people who care about their personal health also care about the planet. SunChips have 18 grams of whole grain and zero trans fat. Since these chips are healthier than regular potato chips, their campaigns played off this, their nature-related name, and their sustainability investments, which includesEco-Friendly-Efforts-SunChips-Compostable-Bag producing a compostable bag. They promoted their compostable bags with an online video showing them decompose, as well as print ads that included a tear-off sample for consumers to test it out themselves in their compost piles. Green marketing helped SunChips become one of the fastest-growing snack brands at Frito-Lay.

Eco-friendly-Efforts-Innovation-Thinking-Ideas-EnvironmentGreen marketing, done correctly, also differentiates your brand from the competition. IBM took a different route by connecting with the community in their green efforts. Their Smarter Planet initiative used direct mail to encourage individuals, businesses, and institutions to change the way they work. They also started a series of jams, or brainstorming sessions, that bring people from around the world together to solve an issue. Their “Congestion Challenge” collects innovative ideas to fight transportation congestion, and the winner receives $50,000, as well as the development and implementation support for the idea.

Packaging Successes

Successful packaging can lead to increased sales, monetary savings and a more positive public image. The following are some examples of packaging successes and their outcomes. Now would be a good time to take notes.

Successful-Packaging-Wal-mart-EnviroShellWal-Mart – a company that is known for attracting negative publicity but has been working toward sustainability – received positive attention recently for choosing Winterborne as their packaging provider. Winterborne was awarded a Converting 2007 Innovator Award for its EnviroShell package. EnviroShell is a 90 percent recyclable and recycled clamshell and the use of this packaging product reflected positively on Wal-Mart in the news media. The take-away? Sustainable packaging has benefits for the environment and for your business image.

Successful-Packaging-VaselineVaseline recently redesigned its brand through a packaging change. Prior to the change, the brand’s identity had been lost as it expanded. Different products in the Vaseline line had different logos and package designs and there was a lack of consistency. Blue Marlin stepped in and created a consistent, attractive, brand-cohesive logo that would stand for all Vaseline products. Blue Marlin made sure that each Vaseline product included classic blue plastic lids and they put a great deal of effort into matching the color of the logo to the blue plastic lids. Vaseline is now the fastest-growing personal care brand for its parent company, Unilever. What’s the take-away here? A strong, consistent brand combined with refreshing packaging can lead to an increase in sales for your business.

Successful-Packaging-Mrs-Fields-CookiesMrs. Fields revamped its retail packaging to reflect a design similar to the redesigned Mrs. Fields stores nationwide and to play on the nostalgia associated with the brand. Tempting shots of cookies adorn the new packaging, which is now more consistent with the Mrs. Fields brand. This new packaging has earned positive reactions from media sources, especially within the packaging industry, appearing in such magazines as Packaging World. The take-away? Refreshing your packaging can strengthen your brand image and generate recognition for your company!

Get to know the message behind your brand and whether your packaging reflects that. Not every product needs repackaging, but, as in these cases, refreshing your packaging may lead to positive consequences for your company and brand.

Zero Waste Week 2009

I recently came across a site for Zero Waste Week, which started on Monday and concludes this Sunday. All week long, people across the world have been making small changes in their lives to eliminate or reduce their amount of waste. By coming together and taking these small steps, we can reduce the amount of waste thrown into the landfills and become more environmentally-responsible.Going-Green-Zero-Waste-Week-Environmentally-Friendly

Last year, they offered prizes and incentives for people who participated, but this year, they wanted to try something different. There are no incentives, because they want people to want to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste generated and sent to the landfills. This way, they hope for people to continue in their efforts long after Zero Waste Week is over, rather than just doing it now for a prize.

You can reduce waste by using durable, reusable packaging or by making sure that it is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We can all work on doing our part to reduce waste and help the environment. Have any ideas to reduce waste even more? Let us know!