I wrote an article for AnnArbor.com about the 9 P’s of Marketing – the fifth and the most important to me is purpose. This article by Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, of Temple University is an excellent article that talks about the why of a brand. I think it fits nicely into my concept of the “purpose.”
This was originally posted on AnnArbor.com – I hold the copyright to my articles so I am reposting it here.
You don’t have to look far to see examples of green marketing — they’re all around you. Plastic bags that decompose, Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, and bio-based cleaners all have something in common — they are green and can prove their products are less harmful than their non-green counterparts.
However when a company actively engages in greenwashing — the promotion of a product based on misleading “green” claims — it’s looking to deceive the user into believing it’s helping the environment, when in fact it may be contributing more to its decline. Sometimes the promotion is unintentional, such as a promotion plan that was not well thought out.
Let’s take a look at a few greenwashing examples for analysis, with links for further details.
Adding the term — green, eco-, environmental, bio-, organic and others to your promotion, but the truth is your product or service has little to do with anything green.
Example: Eco-Conscious Female Doll. In 2008 a large toy producer was ecstatic to introduce their latest version of their toy — a doll whose accessories were partially made by excess fabrics and trimmings from their other doll accessories. Problem was, no one saw this as an eco-friendly product. Most of the product, including the doll and accessories are made from plastic (oil consumption and chemicals), very little reused product was put into the new products, and it was all made in China. This led to numerous posts on blogs (especially the mom blogs) and other web sites identifying this as a greenwash by the company. Negative publicity by bloggers and anti-greenwash sites with high readership only hurts your brand or product.
Adding the color green to your logo, literature, name etc. — “if you paint it green, they will buy” attitude.
Example: A cleaning product that has been around for several decades not only used the color green as part of its labeling but also used the word “green” in its product, long before it was cool to use the term and the color. The marketing worked and still does — a lot of people think this product is healthy and good to use in your home. However if you use this product without wearing a mask, you will quickly learn something is not so green about this product.
Adding a leaf or a tree to your promotional messages — probably the most common and simplest-to-execute greenwashing technique.
This example actually hits the trifecta of greenwashing.
1. Added green terminology
2. Added green color
3. Added a leaf to the message
These diapers were touted to be organic, hypoallergenic, latex and fragrance free, and a host of other claims that somehow made it green. However, as many noted — organic wasn’t backed up by being certified organic, nor did the company state how much of the materials were organic. The packaging and inks were not green friendly, and the biggest fail of this product’s greenwashing attempt: The diapers were not biodegradable, which would have made this product a win.
Sadly, all of these promotion types work. People buy into the hype because it is easy and they don’t look beyond the claims associated with the promotion. However for those that are informed and looking for greenwashing — not only do they spot it, but they blog about it, they tell their friends about it, and they send a message to anti-greenwashing websites. Negative perceptions of your product are not the goal. Make your product or service a real ecologically healthy product and then eco-promote.
- A History of Greenwashing: How Dirty Towels Impacted the Green Movement (walletpop.com)
- Truly Eco-Friendly, Or Corporate Greenwashing? (webecoist.com)
- How Do I Know It’s Really “Green”? Avoid Greenwashing And Find The Best Eco-Friendly Products On The Market (sustainablog.org)
- Greenwashing (lifekills.wordpress.com)
- Greenwash Of The Week: Anatomy Of A Greenwash (Video) (thegoodhuman.com)
- Don’t Let Greenwashing Fears Hold You Back (adage.com)
- Don’t Let Greenwashing Fool You, Join New “Green Watching” Campaign (planetsave.com)
- All Your ‘Environmentally Friendly’ Products Are Lying [Greenwashing] (gawker.com)
- Are We Being Greenwashed? (bigthink.com)
Image Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/3384297473/ – Thank you for sharing your images
Great Photoshop Brush Resources – Alphabetically
7 resources you might not be familiar with
Arty – interesting bugs, birds and stains – small sets – ok for personal – get permission for commercial.
Brush Lovers – a great collection of exclusive free and premium brushes. Hi-res brushes that can be used commercially – license fee is nominal.
Chris Magiera – not sure about the licensing but some nice simple brushes – love the flowers.
Deviant Art – always a great place to lose about an hour a day in – lots of artists sharing Photoshop brushes – watch usage terms – if unsure contact artist and get permission. Lots of other goodies too – for Illustrator etc.
PhotoshopBrushes.com – No new stuff recently but a lot of the stuff on this site I haven’t found in other places, so it deserves a mention. All the Photoshop Goodies featured on this site are free for download for commercial and non commercial use – however please credit site.
1001 Free Fonts – if you want to use them for commercial – cheap license fee
DaFont – great collection of freebies and donation fonts – careful on the commercial use – get permission or buy (warning “sexy” fonts on DaFont are sexually graphic)
Font Squirrel – great site for commercial use fonts
Hill House font – very nice font for a variety of projects – CC license to use at will
Simply the Best – big collection of fonts – watch use terms – also has a bunch of little scripts for website builders