Marketing Red And Green

This year, like the last several, consumers are focusing more on making ends meet than making the world greener ... except as it applies to their pockets. They are not less concerned about sustainability or greedier than in the past, it’s just been tough few years. 

A recent HuffPost article noted the truism that, “People care about themselves, their children, their animals and then the environment — in that order.” This can be a depressing thought for marketers of sustainable products or it can be a call to a shift in strategy. 

As I discussed in last month’s post, the message you, as a green brand, want to deliver to the consumer may not be the message she wants to hear. Especially during the holiday season, conservation messages play better addressing the real impact of climate change, deforestation, etc. on people.

For green manufacturers, though, the real opportunity lies at the intersection of unique and heartwarming. In the ever-increasing world of chain retail, gift items available in Paris resemble those in Omaha. Even picking up vacation souvenirs becomes a challenge with world-wide globalization of goods. And, with online purchases ever exploding, chain store products can be seen and shipped all over the world.

With consumers weary of searching for the perfect gift among look-alike products coast to coast, the gift card industry has exploded. But there is a growing group of consumers who want to do more. That’s where green products have an advantage. Both luxury items and sustainable gifts have the key ingredients that chain store-weary consumers crave:

They call for extraordinary creativity and design, they need to be made from exceptional materials, with good quality and they are rare …”

Unlike luxury items, though, sustainable gifts need not be expensive. Handcrafted, limited quantity and an often heartwarming or family backstory make many sustainable gifts the perfect holiday present. While most brands communicate the backstory well, fewer really acknowledge the uniqueness. 

This year, green brands can make their holiday season greener by bringing the uniqueness story to the forefront. Consumers interested in sustainability will always be a core target market, but consumers interested in unique gifts offer a — if not unique — at least growing opportunity. 

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