|July 13, 2009|
The Future of Advertising
|Growing consumer preference towards sustainable products has changed many things. Businesses are working to change their processes and systems to deliver sustainable products to consumers, changing the way business is conducted, and also changing the way in which products and services are communicated to consumers.|
The green market has helped to restructure advertising strategies and create an entirely new niche in the marketing sector to help build brands based on environmentally friendly platforms and messages.
Recently interviewed Vancouver-based Lorne Craig, founder of Unicycle Creative, a branding and advertising firm focused on offering Green-Marketing solutions for companies looking to promote their eco-friendliness.
For advertisers, the implications are much broader then simply finding and communicating a green angle for their clients. Lorne illustrated that Green-Marketing is helping to change businesses and their models in general, saying, "Green Marketing is a lever for consumers and the media to demand more transparency about businesses, told right, firms that have an environmental consciousness can really have an advantage, but woe to the CEO who denies, obfuscates or plays dumb in this new environment."
When asked about the problems facing an advertiser, Lorne was quick to talk about the legitimacy of business claims. Always making sure that clients presented evidence and research to back up environmental claims, Lorne -like many other green marketers- supported the idea for third party eco-labeling standard.
Lorne stated that although there were some successful labeling programs like the Canadian EcoLabel Program and Energy Star, unfortunately, "The best programs are being caught up in a greenstorm of new 'certification', many of which are simply manufacturers' own green labels." A third party standard would thus cut through the fog and give consumers and advertisers a fundamental system to trust.
Given the amount of information available to consumers, advertisers are dealing with the smartest consumers to date. The more discerning, sophisticated consumer is requiring advertisers to help businesses use green attributes as advantages to build brand loyalty.
So is green marketing just a trend/Corporate Social Responsibility tactic?
According to Lorne, the answer is not in black or white, "Movie stars driving Prius' to the academy awards is a trend, but trends do their jobs, even after they flare or fade the needle has been moved forward." Consumers are beginning to understand the consequences of supporting un-sustainability, and are now looking to make a conscious move to environmentally responsible products.
For companies it is not just about the image. Business is dependent upon a good corporate image, and as Lorne said, "It is now moving from a feel good initiative to a tangible part of the bottom line." Increased liability for environmental degradation requires companies to improve their standards, resulting in better consumer choices.
For Lorne and other marketers, the green movement is helping them brand products and companies with a personality that was overlooked a decade ago. Advertisers have the power to make the message go viral and help the public adopt green on a mainstream scale. For more information about Lorne Craig or Green Marketing see attached link.