Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Too much green for an ecogeek in ecotopia?

Don't know about you but this green marketing craze is making me feel, well, a bit green about the gills. My inbox is crammed everyday with press releases about green marketing initiatives, online and off. Sometimes it seems too cynical for words. By the way, there are 96 million results on Google for "eco" and only 54 million for "poverty."

One sign of how everyone's rushing to go green: Green trademarks have gone through the roof, reports Trends in Trademark. Applications for trademarks with "green" doubled to 2400 in 2007, while "green" and "clean" appeared together in 74 would-be trademarks. "Go Green" appeared in 100 different applications.

The prefix ECO was superhot, appearing in 900 new applications. So hot that Glenn Gundersen, the author of Trends in Trademarks, paints this image for summer:

"Next to your backyard ECO POOL, you could mow your ECO LAWN, with an ECOMOWER, and water your ECO PLANTS and ECO FLOWERS with an ECO HOSE. Your ECO BABY could play with ECO DOLLS, while you sent your ECO TOTS off to ECO CHILDCARE with an ECO LUNCH, including an ECO APPLE, ECOMILK, ECO YUMMY SNACKS ...

"On the weekend, you could go fishing for ECOSALMON, get some ECO LIFECOACHING, play ECO GOLF (but don't forget to pack your ECO-UMBRELLA.) Or you could pack your ECOBAGS and fly ECO AIRLINE through the ECO SKIES to an ECOSAFARI. Perhaps you could relax with a cup of ECO-JOE ... It would be the ideal life for an ECOGEEK in an ECOTOPIA until you were laid to rest in an ECOCOFFIN."

Me? I may have to take up ECO surfing (pollute my office not the sea), attempt to have an ECO-vacation with my kids by staying at home, try to do fun things with lentils (cooked in my own ECO pan which has already been patented) and make our own ECO-friendly fuel. See previous reference to lentils.

This was posted by the editor of the Internet Marketing Report Online blog Julie Power while NOT chewing environmentally-friendly gum (isn't that an oxymoron?) on Tuesday April 29 at 8.30 p.m

PS. If you are serious about green marketing and organics, check out my friend's blog http://www.organicmania.com/



Lynn from organicmania.com said...

I wish I could get excited about the 900 patent applications for green and eco-friendly products, thinking that all these companies are truly committed to going green.

But I only need to look at the number of business owners asking me "How can I introduce a green product line?" -- ie, how can I cash in on the green craze? - versus asking the real question - "How can I make my business more sustainable?"

CEOs need to first "go green" in their personal lives, and then that authentic commitment will follow to their businesses and their product lines, and ultimately will bring them green consumers.

I do not believe this is something you can fake. The greenwashers will be called on the carpet, and it will go badly for them.

The problems we face with our environment are too serious to view as just another marketing opportunity. They require serious commitment and action. Those companies with true commitment - think Honest Tea, Terracycle, and Whole Foods - are reaping true rewards, while those who are greenwashing will face consumer backlash and PR nightmares.

Thanks for the mention of OrganicMania.

Moses said...

Julie, good post. Yes it does seem there are many businesses jumping on to the green wagon. Some even too prematurely. It's silly. For example, you can't walk into a UK supermarket without seeing a product that doesn't claim they're environmentally friendly or support fair-trade. It seems, in some markets, claiming your product is eco friendly is no longer a differentiation. It's just becoming noise. And false claims such as that only take attention away from true sustainable businesses who have taken a holistic approach. Like Innocent drinks or Clifbar.

Lynn made a great point, that the right step to becoming a sustainable business, owners and CEOs need to first go green in their personal lives.