How To Nurture Life-Long Customers through Green Marketing

It’s not enough to just run ad campaigns anymore. Your customer has WAY more control over your brand story than ever before. And your brand story must mean more to your customer than “Low price leader.” It’s critical that your brand resonate emotionally and deliver physically to actually make their lives better.

If you’re really good, your brand will even promote change for the better in your customer.

To survive in today’s market, the person, product, company or cause that you’re marketing has to turn their advertising campaigns into movements. I asked the folks at my agency, Park&Co, to recommend 10 organizations that are great examples of turning a brand into a movement that matters. At the core of these consumer brands are the drive to educate customers about healthier choices, while filling their needs with their products and offerings.

    1. – They offer glass water bottles, and recently did a big campaign to encourage consumers to Fall in Love with Their Tap. All the packing products are made from recycled materials and are, themselves, recyclable and biodegradable. All their items are designed to inspire and contribute positively to the environment. They don’t have the leverage or impact of a Walmart, but sometimes it’s the small guys that I think are truly the mighty ones.
    2. Method – Their sustainability philosophy starts with the brand mission to “Inspire a Happy, Healthy Home Revolution,” and is centered around using innovation to create positive change.
    3. Terracycle – TerraCycle makes affordable, eco-friendly products from a wide range of different non-recyclable waste materials. With over 50 products available at major retailers like Walmart, Target, The Home Depot, OfficeMax, Petco and Whole Foods Market, TerraCycle is one of the fastest growing eco-friendly manufacturers in the world. Our hope is to eliminate the idea of waste by finding innovative, unique uses for materials others deem garbage.
    4. SunChipsSunChips – I’ve written many times about SunChips and how Frito-Lay has completely structured its business model around a healthier snack chip that strives to make the planet healthier through the use of renewable energy and the first biodegradable snack bag. They even invite their customers to adopt the SunChip brand of friendly consumer environmentalism: not the Birkenstock kind, the Vans skateboarder shoe kind.
    5. Pepsi is trying to turn its soda into a movement with their “Refresh Everything Project.” I mention it because it has the DNA of exactly what I’m talking about. They’ve taken a commodity product and are trying to make it stand for something bigger than colored sugar water. I’m just not sure how well it’s working for the big guy. What do you think? Can a soda save the world?
    6. Volkswagen, on the other hand, is doing a better job of inciting change within its customers as an extension of its brand. Check out The Fun Theory, a site dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. I love the musical keyboard stairs to promote taking the stairs over an escalator for exercise as an example of how The Fun Theory is a brand movement.
    7. Adelante Healthcare – We practice what we preach, as is seen in the sustainable healthcare movement we helped create when we rebranded Adelante Healthcare. The organization’s three pillars of sustainability include sustaining individual patient health, sustaining the availability of healthcare, and sustaining healthy households, communities and planet. Their brand has grown from a 30-year-old community clinic to a leader in sustainable healthcare: a movement their patients can actively participate in and benefit from.
    8. PatagoniaThe Tin Shed. Enough said.
    9. Red – Park&Co’s former creative director, Luis Medina, chimed in, “Like a lot of people, when that campaign first emerged I dismissed it as a clever marketing ploy. But 4 or 5 years later, it’s still growing and making a difference. Talk about sustainability…”
    10. So who or what would you name as #10? Tell us about your favorite sustainable brand that has made a movement out of a molehill.

If you’re thinking about revamping your green campaign, start by checking this list with 18 green marketing characteristics to avoid at all costs.