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Green Marketing 101: Tell Your Origin Story?

May 12th, 2014 No comments

Are You Telling Your Story of Your Company’s Creation?

promoting your green company

Austin, Texas: Most green companies have an interesting story to tell.

They were created to solve an environmental  problem–such as to reduce waste, to cut carbon emissions, to encourage environmental education, to educate on the need for more recycling, etc.

But are you telling your story often enough?

Here is an excellent short article on the power of creating and promoting your organization’s origin story.

What sets your organization apart is the story of how you got started.

Tell us why you got started.

Describe conditions before you got started and afterwards.

Explain to us the need that you saw in the marketplace for a greener alternative

People buy from organization’s that have a unique story to tell.
What’s your original story?

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 33 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of organic promotional products,   imprinted bamboo promotional items, imprinted live tree seedlings and plant giftsseeded paper promotional items and  recycled imprinted pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has recently completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 250,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

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Should Companies Use Incentives for Being Green?

September 2nd, 2008 No comments

Incentives have been used for decades to get people to open up a savings account, use a particular airline or hotel and to apply for credit cards, for example.

So why shouldn’t incentive programs be used by both the public and private sectors to encourage green behavior?

One company, Lifetime Fitness, in Austin, Texas is dedicating 30 “choice spots in their parking lot for “low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles’”, according to the Austin American Statesman. They are not alone, as several other companies are offering similar programs to their customers, including Office Depot. Their parking sites were set aside in order to qualify for recognition from the US Green Building Council.

So far, according to the news story, reviews are mixed. Some patrons feel that they shouldn’t be punished for driving a gas guzzler. Others think it is great.

In Austin, the City used to have a perks program allowing 250 parking cards, worth approximately $100 to owners of fuel-efficient automobiles off the cost of parking meter costs. However that program was canceled, as the city viewed it as rewarding action that people would probably have done so on their own.

However, with the nation trying to find ways to encourage its citizens to reduce fuel consumption, getting the private sector to incentivize fuel reduction is a win-win situation

If anyone knows of any other companies or cities that are offering perks for driving energy-efficient automobiles, I’d love to hear about it on my blog. Please leave your comments.

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Robert Piller is President of EcoMarketing Solutions LLC, a company that helps businesses promote themselves to their customers and prospects using environmentally-friendly promotional products that won’t end up in a landfill. He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues of green marketing. He can be reached at robert@ecomarketingsolutions.com.

Are all consumers ready to “go green”?

August 25th, 2008 No comments

Companies of all sizes and across the entire business spectrum are trying to “go green” at an amazing speed. Some do it for personal reasons, some do it out of corporate social responsibility and others are doing it for good old fashioned bottom-line financial reasons.

Whatever the motivation, this is a positive trend.

But I’m often asked if going green makes good economic sense for a company or institution – and I cannot always say “yes”. At least, not with a straight face.

The truth is that, at this time, going green makes economic sense for business that cater to the more educated, more affluent and more socially responsible consumers, according to the 1996 Roper-Starch Worldwide Report.

Because this Roper-Starch Report is one of the best studies of its type, I have used it as a basis for this article. While the fundamentals of this study are still sound, remember these numbers are twelve years old. With the constant streaming of green information by the media over the past decade, I would guess that the number of consumers that would consider themselves “environmentally friendly” has gone up significantly.

According to the Roper-Starch Worldwide Report, there are five types of consumers.

1) True-Blues

This hard-core group holds the strongest environmental beliefs and actually live the eco lifestyle. They talk the talk and walk the walk, in laymen’s words.

True-Blues are usually ardent environmentalists, attempt to influence others, and are politically and socially active. This audience is one of the most educated groups and is most likely to be a white woman holding down an executive or professional job.

2) Greenbacks

This group is more willing to pay a premium price for green products – up to 22% more. Although not very politically active and not nearly as pro-active as the True-Blues, Greenbacks are most willing to show their support for the environment with their wallet. This demographic audience is primarily a young, married white male holding down a white collar job.

3) Sprouts

Probably the largest market segment, this group is willing to engage in environmental activities from time to time, as long as it doesn’t require much effort. Recycling is the most eco-oriented activity they participate I, as they will not pay a premium for green products. This is a swing group, if there ever was, and the most likely target and audience for the advancement of the green movement over the next several years.

4) Grousers

This group does not believe that individuals play a significant role in protecting the environment; instead they feel it is the responsibility of the government and large corporations to make a change. Grousers are mostly uninformed about environmental problems, and would rather complain that they are too busy, rather than to get involved. The members of this group may participate in a recycling program, but only if their local laws require it.

5) Basic Browns

Basic Browns do not make any attempt to sugarcoat the fact that they do get involved in any environmental activities; they are simply indifferent. As can be expected, this group is the least educated among the five and, according to the research, they live primarily in the South.They think the green movement is much ado about nothing and think they are being brainwashed by the “leftist elitists”. They think green washing is happening to them.

So, knowing about these five groups of consumers, does going green make economic sense for all companies?

I would conclude that any business which is targeting anyone, other than what can be perceived as “Bubba”, can gain immediate benefits from promoting green products to their audience. Just as rising tides raise all ships, I would suggest that if your product or service reaches all market segments, promoting green is still a no-brainer. Basic Browns may eventually “get it”, but it will take time—possibly as long as 5-10-20 years – or longer.

It seems that this demographic also was the last to understand the importance of Civil Rights and Women’s Equality issues. However, over time, their indifference, or even hostility to the cause, will become less meaningful to the rest of the population. As this particular audience eventually gets older and older, they will be replaced with a much more open-minded audience.

However harsh this analysis may appear, it is actually very positive. The green movement only will get stronger as people notice the Earth’s rising temperature, see more visual news clips of melting glaciers, read about more starvation and droughts across the globe, learn more about carbon neutrality and the meaning of carbon footprint, etc.

As the green movement continues in a positive fashion, every business will gain by becoming green and promoting this benefit to their consumers.

Until then, if the Basic Brown is your only customer base, putting money into green marketing, at this time, will probably not yield the best return on your investment. My hope would be that you would upgrade your product offerings to appeal to a greener market segment in the near future – until Basic Brown no longer exists as a demographic audience worthy of consideration.

Thank goodness consumers are more eco-conscious — and this trend is moving greener each day. With the 2008 elections casting even more interest on the environmental movement to the apathetic, it is only a matter of time when a new survey will show only degrees of “green-ness” — and being green will be the cost of entry for any business.

Here’s to a greener planet.

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Robert Piller is President of EcoMarketing Solutions LLC, which helps businesses promote themselves to their customers and prospects using environmentally-friendly imprinted promotional products that won’t end up in a landfill. He is a frequent guest speaker and writer on issues pertaining to green marketing. He can be reached at robert@ecomarketingsolutions.com.