Think Blue Instead Of Green

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.

Blue marketing?

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 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.

2 comments about "Think Blue Instead Of Green".
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  1. Bruce Gerth from Effect Partners, September 24, 2012 at 11:39 a.m.

    It is about authenticity, not color...true CSR is actually transparent.

    CSR has evolved beyond the environment and sustainability and into a holistic principle for how a company does business. It no longer has a color; it is embedded into the brand as a core value proposition just as Tom’s and Method does.

    In the words of esteemed business strategist Michael Porter, it is about creating ‘shared value’ for the company, employees, consumer and society.

    The new CSR is integrated as a ‘reason to believe’ of the brand and leveraged strategically as any other RTB of the brand.

    You can call the marketing effort blue, green, pink or plaid, but it is not about color, it is about the business model at the top. A corporate vision for responsibility that cascades to a strategic marketing plan to activate a shared value model against business objectives to achieve a higher level of impact for both the bottom line and society.

    The tactic can be named or colored anyway you want, but it evolves out of a strategic organizational business model, not a marketing campaign.

    IMO...Colored marketing is tactical.Creating shared value is strategic and transparent.

  2. laura zielinski from BNP Media, September 24, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.

    Love your comment, Bruce. Everything I wanted to say. Especially this point: "It no longer has a color; it is embedded into the brand as a core value proposition." I was reading earlier today that the trend of sustainability was dying in the packaging industry, that people are bored of it. Yes, because it's only a "trend" to them.

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