By now, we've all seen some type of "green" ad where organizations claim to practice sustainability or brands advocating some sort of eco-friendly initiative. There have been marketing campaigns ranging from the SunChips compostible bag to Method's Inspire a Happy, Healthy Home Revolution.
In the past, such strategies could position a brand as being progressive and forward-thinking, among other adjectives. However, due to the influx of so many similar green campaigns, these tactics are becoming increasingly less effective and have led to the creation of the term greenwashing. To truly stand out and create a positive corporate or brand identity, marketers need to stop thinking green and start thinking blue.
Some of you may be wondering what it means to be blue. To put it quite simply, blue marketing is centered on social good campaigns. The Blue Movement is a slowly emerging trend and is at a similar stage to the Green Movement in the early 2000s. The catalyst to the Blue Movement is the belief that there is hope for humanity and a reason to be optimistic. Saatchi & Saatchi is one of the advertising agencies jumping on board and thinking blue. Their video sums up the movement pretty well.
Tapping into the mindset of millennials
“Believing in the greater good” and “feeling empowered to make a positive change” sounds an awful lot like one of today’s most sought-after marketing segments -- millennials. An effective blue marketing campaign can directly tap into the mindset of this lucrative demographic. Millennials are among those least receptive to traditional advertising tactics, but inversely, enjoy brands that resonate with their individual voices and personal beliefs. With that being said, a properly executed “blue” branding strategy can create a connection between your brand and these young consumers. Here is an infographic by onlinegraduateprograms.com that sums up millennials.
Blue marketing in action
Blue marketing is nothing new. Actually, it's likely that a number of marketers have unwittingly employed this branding tactic into their strategy. There are countless campaigns that have gone “blue.” One such campaign is Nike's Girl Effect," which tries to help adolescent girls in developing regions of the world by empowering them through education.
One company that has not only crafted a marketing strategy around social good, but an entire brand, is TOMS. Their One for One initiative gives a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchased pair of TOMS, and is the foundation the entire organization has been erected upon.
Consumers no longer want brands they can simply depend on, but want brands they can believe in. The more closely your branding strategy aligns with the ideals of its target market, the more effectively you'll be able to build a strong, long-lasting relationship with your customers.