Conservation Marketing

While the 70s and the 80s were the “me” decades, the new millennium is the “us” decade. More than ever we are feeling the pressure to tighten our belts and adopt a more conservative approach, build larger reserves for our families and preserve what we already have. The spend, spend, spend and boom/bust mentality is passing away in favor of a more “grounded” mindset. This extends itself to the marketing arena as well.
Everywhere we look, we see the “green story” being touted. This doesn’t just apply to energy companies, manufacturers and Fortune 500 companies looking to join the “green” bandwagon. Organizations in every industry and field of endeavor are opting for adding this element to their communication strategies. According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus, green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing.
One way that we can leverage the current focus on the “green mentality” is to promote sustainability. It’s getting difficult to find an industry or profession that doesn’t have some type of sustainability initiatives. This can encompass alternative energy initiatives, ride sharing, new recycling alternatives, lower consumption levels and the like. I know a display manufacturer that completely retooled their manufacturing process to eliminate ALL harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) thereby reducing their consumption footprint by 70%. While this did require a significant upfront investment in new equipment, it has resulted in a 136% return on investment to date. Their return came in the form of lower material prices, energy rebates and a special low rate financing as a result of the reduced environmental impact.
There are many more ways that we can leverage this 15th Rule. In short let me say that the more we sincerely focus on preserving, conserving and reserving, the more powerful our marketing will be to those who are socially responsible. What can you do to use this concept in your business?