In fact, green is no longer a crunchy, hippy micro niche, but a $290 billion dollar industry that has found its way into the mainstream . From organic foods, to hybrid cars, ecotourism, to green décor, you can be sure to find green products near you.
I recently had the privilege of receiving a review copy of Jacquie Ottman’s The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding. If you don’t know who Jacquie Ottman is, she’s the green marketing queen. She’s pioneered green marketing for 20 years, and worked with a number of big brands on integrating sustainability into their products.
If you’re a green entrepreneur, or trying to get your existing company to go green, then you’ll find this book to be extremely useful. Here are 3 things I liked about the New Rules of Green Marketing:
1. Green Market Segmentation. Jacquie Ottman does a great job in segmenting green consumers into segments we can all understand. I’ve seen green consumer segmentation to include terms like brown, light green, dark green, true blue green – what exactly does that mean?
Jacquie and her team at Ottman Consulting have segmented consumers by green interests.
- Resource conservers
- Health fanatics
- Outdoor enthusiasts
- Animal lovers
I don’t know about you, but I definitely have an easier time putting faces and names to groups like this. I’m sure there are people you know who are resource conservers – they always use their own shopping bags, have switched out all their light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. Or health fanatics who only eat raw, organic food and sprouts and are incredibly fit. Or the leave no trace guy who back packs around with a hand shovel, you know, so he can dig a hole, bury his business and keep nature looking pristine.
Jacquie breaks down not only their interests and environmental behaviors but also the news they read. So if your target consumer is an outdoor enthusiast, you ought to be advertising in Sierra, Backpacker, or Outdoors magazine.
2. Real World Green Marketing Strategies. Jacquie Ottman provides 15 strategies for sustainable product design AND includes real examples of companies that are embracing these strategies. And they’re household names like Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, HP, Wal-Mart. I mean, hey, we all know that there are no truly green manufactured products, because everything consumes resources and energy to some extent, but it’s great to see big brands trying to make their products greener, because that will move the needle.
3. How to Avoid Greenwash. Jacquie Ottman provides clear guidelines on how to avoid greenwash. I think this is really necessary. Businesses know that green is hot, and green consumers are willing to pay more. And sometimes, companies might engage in marketing that is further ahead of where their product actually is. You know, like those oil companies that come up with fancy green logos and expensive advertising campaigns on how they are helping people and the planet, while trying to cover up a massive oil spill somewhere else.
If you are planning to leverage the environmental benefits of your product, you want to be sure that you are radically transparent and consumers will trust you more.
This book will help you build an authentic, sustainable brand. It won’t help you understand tactically, how to reach your consumers – it’s not that kind of book. But I hope we, at Green Marketing TV can help you out with that.
There are 20 New Rules of Green Marketing. The New Rules of Green Marketing is the green marketing bible, so get it by clicking this link.