Monday, June 11, 2007

Competing on Green

In checking out some blogs over the weekend I came across Marketing Green, where I found an interesting post titled Competing on Green Accelerates Pace of Change. According to the blogger, there is a marketing lesson in the competition among rival companies for leader of the green space: "As the basis for competition shifts to green, it is likely that companies will vie for leadership on the issue, accelerating change in the category. Savvy green marketers will either take advantage of being a first mover on green or ready their company to be a fast follower when a competitor inevitably does."

What are the dangers in competing on "green?" In an already fast-paced industry, what are the dangers of green-based acceleration? An earlier post at the same site cautions that leading companies risk taunts of greenwashing if they stray even a little bit after putting themselves on top. Being green translates to practices beyond product claims. How should companies that don't push natural products compete in the green space?


Blogger Tina & Beth Ann said...

This reminds us of (yikes!) almost 15 years ago in the beauty industry, when all of a sudden 2 very significant trends emerged. The first was AHA, the second was the idea of putting SPF in daily skincare - horror of horrors!

Imagine this scenario, countless executives meeting numerous times debating the dangers, yes dangers, of being early adapters to these two trends, exfoliation and daily sun protection. Lawyers were brought in, brand positions were defended, and for the most part, only the Christopher Columbus of companies decided to move forward... the rest of us said, let's wait and see.

But the most important lesson we took away from those debates was the lesson of commitment. To pursue a position of AHA or daily SPF without total, undying commitment would have been akin to brand suicide. The hours of reformulations required to incorporate an SPF into a liquid makeup, or the questions that would arise in the consumer's mind if an established 3-step brand started preaching "remove dead skin cells or see aging happen" - what a fourth step? - would all add up to wasted time, money and effort if the entire philosophy, attitude and commitment for the future were not thought out and embraced, truly.

This is where the "green washing" trend is at the moment. True believers, adventurers, visionaries and the rest of the crowd, poised on the pause button. Only push if the word commitment does not scare you.

5:11 PM, June 14, 2007  
Blogger Karen said...

Tina and Beth Ann:
Thanks for these powerful and compelling thoughts on competition and commitment. AHAs and sun protection in daily skin care are still with us. Where will the green movement be in 15 years?

9:06 PM, June 14, 2007  

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