“Going green” has been popular with brands for years as more and more consumers develop a sense of environmental and social consciousness. Unfortunately, some corporations have exploited the concept of sustainability to boost their bottom line and enhance their brand image. As a result, consumer watchdog groups are actively pursuing these green fiends and exposing their questionable initiatives and so-called claims. These “greenwashing” activities have left consumers doubtful about the authenticity of any green credentials. Yet companies which are genuinely green hold a powerful position in the marketplace and possess a certain “brand mojo,” which is a vibrant energy that makes them irresistibly attractive and captures the imagination of consumers in a game-changing way.
How can authentically green companies make the most of their “brand mojo?”
In 2011, transparency will play a powerful role in the way consumers assess brands. Full disclosure will become a non-negotiable factor in green initiatives and green advertising in general.
Brands that make a real effort to reduce their environmental impact will be noticed by consumers, especially women. In fact, 69% of women will buy a green brand over others if it also delivers on price and performance. Women are also excellent communicators and 74% of women will talk to friends and families about their positive and negative brand experiences, making brands accountable for upholding their green claims.
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The brands that are genuinely green should actively promote their sustainable practices since they could add a well-deserved boost to business. Before a company parades its green attributes, the following questions must be answered:
- Was your brand green before it was the trendy?
- Is green ideology at the core of your brand?
- Does sustainability come naturally to your corporate culture – beyond the scope of marketing?
- Are you willing to be honest about any green shortcomings?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then your brand is worthy of benefiting from a green distinction. If not, think twice before misrepresenting your brand and misleading consumers because lying about being green can leave your brand with a black mark.
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