A recent study by RSR Research analyzed the strategies companies are employing for brands in terms of ensuring those brands are eco-friendly, but I wonder not what brands are doing but whether or not being green is even an option for brands anymore. Or is it a strategic imperative? My vote is for strategic imperative.
In other words, green strategies should be at the core of product development and positioning strategies. It shouldn’t just be an ancillary element or tactic of differentiation. It should be a key component to the brand’s overall promise.
I think of toy brands and consider all the wasted plastic and materials used in the packaging of toys (I have triplets who just turned 5-years old, so I see a lot of toy packaging but there are many examples — check out the wasteful packaging in the image above), which so clearly demonstrates the need for “green” to be at the heart of brand and product development.
There is that old saying, “waste not, want not”, which is very appropriate here. The same thing applies to being a green brand. Many consumers simply expect companies and brands to be making an effort to be environmentally-friendly. If brands are deemed to be wasteful and environmentally harmful, it’s likely that a certain amount of consumers will lose trust in those brands. They may even move on from those brands to find replacements that do meet their expectations for brands and companies to live up to their environmental responsibilities.
Sure, the abandonment rate might not be that high today, but what about in 5-years? 10-years? Will “green” still be the cool thing, or will it be the essential thing for brand survival. While I don’t think I’d go so far as to say it will be the only thing that matters to consumers when they make brand choices, I do think it will have a greater impact than it does today. Bottom-line, green is no longer an option. It’s a must.
Image: Packaging Waste via Flickr
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