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June 7, 2007

News & Tools for Building a Better, Greener Brand

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How Far, Pray Tell?

How far have your products traveled from manufacturing plant or farmer's field to market? Perhaps it's time to tell your consumer. In a marketplace where more and more consumers want to know their carbon footprint, and the marketers themselves are often confused about how to craft their sustainability messages, meaningful, easy-to-understand information is at a premium. Too many think, for instance, that bamboo (which travels 6,000 miles to get to your floor) and fair trade bananas are going to "save the planet," when the truth is that locally procured alternatives are the better environmental bet.

Finding ways to let consumers discover one simple determinant of sustainability — such as "miles traveled" — in a creative, distinguishing way would not only be enlightening to consumers, but also satisfying to marketing communicators. Who among us, after all, would give up the chance to have our company's sustainability story told by a real-live local farmer, a fourth-generation manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, or a local designer of one-off pieces of jewelry?

If this sounds a little offbeat for many of you who meet the needs of mainstream consumers, consider that Timberland has recently introduced the equivalent of a "nutritional label" to their shoe boxes, complete with information on the energy used to manufacture the enclosed product as well as the amount of renewable energy. Disclosing "miles traveled" would simply take such information one step further to clarity for consumers.

~Jacquelyn A. Ottman, President, J.Ottman Consulting and SLM Advisor

This Week's Top Branding Stories

Who's in Charge of Corporate Green Strategy?
The answer is far from clear, says market watcher Sonoo Singh (scroll half way down page to view article). (Marketing Week) Read more...

Want to Save the Planet? Start by Cleaning Up Your Direct Marketing
Marketers are realizing that by re-examining data hygiene, they can help their company reduce its environmental footprint. (BtoB) Read more...

Is It Time to Ditch "Sustainability"?
The growing use of the term "sustainability" to promote green business models is struggling to convey the desired message with relatively few consumers claiming to be familiar with the term, according to a new report. (BusinessGreen) Read more...

Big Bucks Spent on Green Ads
No average American is going to build a wind turbine or go mine coal for clean-burning plants, but General Electric and a growing number of companies and industry groups are launching advertising campaigns promoting renewable energy. (United Press International via Mosters & Critics) Read more...

Can PR People Become Agents of Change?
In a word, yes. Blogger Caroline Wilson says PR professionals should be pro-active about encouraging sustainable behavior even if they’re not working for an organization obviously associated with sustainability. (GoodGreenPR) Read more...

Annual LOHAS Conference Draws Record Crowds
The 11th annual LOHAS Forum attracted more than 700 attendees and showcased some 80 speakers from Fortune 500 companies and successful startups leading the way in this fast-growing industry, which experts say could quadruple by 2015. (Press Release) Read more...

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Sustainable Brands '07: Learning From Leaders

Eco-responsibility has become a hot commodity in business today, and companies are scrambeling to figure out when and how to talk about theirs. At Sustainable Brands '07 you'll learn from the leaders about how to lay the proper groundwork for creating value for your organization through smart eco-communication strategies.

Sustainable Brands Conversations

Sustainability is definitely "hot." How are you positioning your company or its products to make the most of the green trend? Join the discussion!

Tools & Frameworks

Green Branding 2.0
ImagePower's latest survey, released in May, pegs the top ten green brands in the U.S., as well as globally by industry — find out who made the cut. Download now...

Branding Experts Speak!

John and Jane Emrick on "Attracting a Customer That Cares"
The former owners of Norm Thompson, John and Jane Emrick, describe how best to present greener products — without greenwashing. (Run Time: 1:00 Min.) Listen now...

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