Published on August 25th, 2008 | by Maryanne Conlin3
How To Avoid Eco Fatigue – What Ecopreneurs Need To Know
It’s important for growing companies to keep an eye on the overall market. While much of what makes entrepreneurs great is their ability to think out of the box, it’s what’s happening overall and how they fit into the general scheme of things that determines whether they succeed or fail.
So, I like to highlight some of the greater market trends in this blog. One of those of particular interest, one might say overwhelming interest, to green entrepreneurs is the looming scare of “eco fatigue”.
Is it real?
Will it impact green businesses?
Are you seeing it impact your business?
Here’s some tips from AdAge designed for large established companies but equally relevant for ecopreneurs. What do you think?
7 Tips to Avoid Eco-Fatigue
1. Be remarkable. You can make the “greenest” product on the planet, but unless it solves a significant consumer problem, works or tastes better than anything in the market and offers a good value in ratio to price, consumers won’t buy it.
2. Be green because it’s something you value, not as a marketing gimmick. Can coal really market the industry as being green and clean? What is Kermit the Frog doing with the Ford Escape? People smell falsehoods, and you go from bad to worse.
3. Don’t be bashful. A lot of truly “green” companies are afraid to speak up because it feels too self-righteous. Consumers actually appreciate your efforts, no matter the size, as long as they’re earnest and a step in the right direction.
4. Make it fun and engaging. Green doesn’t have to be staid.
5. Partner with an established nonprofit. When Kettle Foods wanted to add a cause element to its new Backyard Barbecue flavor, it immediately thought of wildlife habitat protection because it’s something it does in its own backyard. To inspire consumers to apply the same principles at home, Kettle partnered with a respected nonprofit, the National Wildlife Foundation. Then it encouraged people to get involved by creating their own backyard wildlife habitats. Who wouldn’t want a bag of free chips as thanks for attracting local birds?
6. Invite consumers to join you. A flushable diaper doesn’t sound like a product that would inspire a cult following, but gDiapers realized early on that its core consumers were a vocal bunch. So gDiaper empowered them. By creating gMums and gDads, the company arms independent, trusted “spokespeople” with free product and the tools they need to spread the word. Doesn’t get much better than that.
7. Move beyond green. Green is a fad. Sustainability is continual improvement. If you’re only looking at energy consumption, you’re just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Businesses that endorse a “triple-bottom-line” approach — Organic Valley Farms, New Belgium and Clif Bar, to name a few — also address their affect on society in their communities. Environment is the third leg of the stool, but without the other two, you wouldn’t have a place to sit.
Photo Credit: viewoftheworld at Flickr Under Creative Commons License