Green Marketing: Mind the Gap


PSFK is a marketing website that follows trends in Europe and North America. They held a one day conference in London on trends, ideas and marketing inspiration. The panel discussion "The Marketing Gap in Green" provided some interesting insights into the marketing world and how it is running to catch up to green consumer demand. Members included Tamara Giltsoff (pictured second from left), and John Grant. He said that aviation was the most unfriendly brand right now with people like Richard Branson of Virgin talking about new planes and fuels and trying to look "less bad". Diana Verde Nieto (pictured right) said that because the government is making laws about environmental change the green agenda has become main stream. If companies aren't sustainable the market won't invest in them. Green marketing is about consumption; now certain products feel uncomfortable (for example driving SUV's) so consumers have to find new ways of expressing themselves. The need to collaborate with customers was repeated by all panelists and using existing marketing tools to create new models. For example Ariel detergent started a campaign to publicize washing clothes at 30 degrees and Comfort detergent switched from liquid to concentrate and halved the size of their container. BSkyB put 2 million set top boxes on auto-standby, thus saving electricity. John Grant said that one simple word is the answer: local. But this is a big issue for supermarkets and the drinks industry. He talked about breakaways: composting toilets are awkward now but once developed they will be very popular. And what do consumers want in return? Panelists said they want service and to be involved and purpose. Green status has to be visible. Agencies have to embrace sustainability and remember that it is all evolutionary. :: psfk

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