Marketing a Green Product

Make it your goal to show potential customers²

environmentally conscious or otherwise²exactly how your offering provides practical value
by Karen E. Klein SMALL BUSINESS

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Should we reach out primarily to consumers already buying environmentally friendly products. or try . but am not sure how to market it.I'm interested in distributing a niche product that falls into the "green" category.

Roseville. There's no doubt the green niche can be lucrative.to expand the potential for customers? ²K. Calif. Environmentally aware consumers tend to earn more and be willing to pay more for green .W..

is that only a very small percentage of consumers make their buying decisions primarily based on the environmental qualities . such as organic produce and hybrid cars.products. The problem. however.

says Edwin R. an associate professor of marketing at Utah State University's college of business. Depending on what your product is.of a product. Stafford. it may very well be difficult to sustain .

Department of Energy-sponsored .sufficient sales within that niche alone. Stafford and his colleagues.S. Cathy Hartman and Jacquelyn Ottman. have done research on green marketing through a U.

"They've found that positioning green products on their inherent mainstream benefits can broaden their consumer appeal .research program called "Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development (RERED).

"While consumers say in surveys that environmentalism impacts their product choices.and enhance their likelihood for market success. a variety of factors typically can impede green .

purchasing behavior, ranging from their immediate availability to price to convenience to perceived green product effectiveness," Stafford says. "A number of personal motivations and external factors impact

green purchasing behavior, and targeting the elusive 'green consumer' can be challenging.

EDUCATING THE CONSUMER
Fortunately, he says, there is great opportunity for

marketing green products to the masses, and there are many examples of green products that have gone mainstream due to their practical consumer benefits, including frontloading, energy-efficient washing machines and

" Stafford says.other appliances. "What we see is that the success behind many green products is not their 'greenness.' but the practical value they provide consumers. . organic foods and heatreflective windows.

however.Sometimes practical consumer value may not be readily apparent in a green product. Make sure that you bundle . and that's where education will need to play an important role in your marketing efforts.

'Long life for hard-to-reach places." ."consumer value" into the marketing messages for your green product. "One of my favorites is the slogan.' for General Electric's (GE) energy-efficiency CFL flood lights.

"That communicates how a CFL's five-year life can be very convenient." . The goal of green marketing communications should be to educate consumers that green provides practical consumer value.Stafford says.

mainstream consumers worried that green buildings would include inferior building materials.Another place where you can take a cue is from the construction industry. Originally. . leading to decreased longevity.

and the image of Gilligan's Island and bamboo huts comes to mind. "The reality is. that green buildings are increasingly cleverly ." Stafford says. however."Mention 'green building' to a traditional home buyer.

often technically innovative structures that are super energy/resourceefficient. The construction industry has increasingly adopted the term 'high- . and work in harmony with the seasons.designed.

" You can do something similar with your produc .performance building' to reframe 'green' away from any potential negative connotations.

Marke ting Green .

Green Marketing Strategies for a Sustainable Future y y Home About Green Product Paradox: .

When Too Much Good Is Bad for the Environm ent October 4. 2010 A common mantra in green marketing is that if you want .

the masses to buy your product. A product¶s ³greenness´ is likely secondary for many mainstream consumers. quality or service. focus your messaging on more traditional attributes such as price. For .

the holy grail may be to offer a product that is competitive on dimensions both traditional and ecofriendly.green marketers then. This would result in the greatest number of products sold and .

things are not always that simple.greatest impact on the environment. rather . But. Consider the scenario when an innovative green product spurs new demand across an entire product category.

than just replaces the existing generation of products in market. Is the individual product still green if the aggregate impact of the category is greater than what it replaced? .

household lighting. Most of us are aware that switching from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs can result in a dramatic reduction in energy use. overall adoption has . for example.Take. But.

been relatively modest in comparison to the potential market. Today. an even newer generation of lighting technology . likely due to the premium price commanded for the bulbs.

is on the commercial horizon. described as a ³souped up´ version of the light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are commonly used today to illuminate electronic displays . Solid state lighting.

2010) Mass adoption of such . August 26. (³Not Such a Bright Idea´.on alarm clocks and audio equipment. promises to provide lighting at a fraction of the energy used by today¶s bulbs. The Economist.

we should celebrate such technology .technology could have significant implications for the environment given that 6.5% of the world¶s energy is used for illumination. In many ways.

fixes given their benefits to the environment. Yet. solid state lighting clearly has the potential to be one of those ³holy grail products´. For marketers. green products such as solid state .

according to J Y Tsao and colleagues at the Sandia .lighting also present a paradox in that their adoption in mass might actually be detrimental to the environment. How could this be the case? Well.

National Laboratory, cheaper lighting that sips energy will likely increase over all demand and uses for light, and with it, overall energy consumption. (J Y Tsao, et. al., ³SolidState Lighting: An

Energy-Economics Perspective´, Journa l of Physics D: Applied Physics, August 19, 2010) The rationale? Today, Tsao et. al., contends that consumers underconsume indoor light ± with

current fixtures providing 1/10th of the illumination as ambient outdoor light on cloudy days and 1/60th of ambient outdoor light on sunny ones. Tsao rationalizes that there is plenty of

room to consume more ± including in new ways that have yet to be thought of. Tsao et.. As evidence. models historical lighting use and adoption rates for new technologies ± from . al.

.gas lanterns to fluorescent bulbs ± and extrapolates forward demand based on the amount of light produced (measured in lumens) and cost per lumen.

Historic trends clearly indicate that consumer demand greatly increased when cost dropped and other attributes ± such as faster turn on/off and greater cleanliness ± expanded lighting .

perhaps a 2x increase in energy . al.uses. Tsao et. demand has the potential to increase10x by 2030 and with it.. predicts that with solid state lighting. Extrapolating into the future.

could result in a similar dilemma if . How paradoxical.use. It is important to note that the green product paradox is not isolated to LED lighting. Increased demand for electric cars. for example.

the added electricity load needed to power the vehicles is generated using higher polluting coal. the green product paradox presents quite the challenge for a marketer. As such. For .

such products can be both profitable and (at least appear) socially responsible. It is only by looking at the forest from the trees ± and perhaps a little into the .individual companies.

paradoxically. such products may. this . in aggregate. have a negative impact. A sustainable brand might try itself to mitigate any impact that its products may have.future ± does it become apparent that. But.

Given this.will only have broad impact if it ultimately compels competitors to follow suit. marketers should recognize that a solution to the paradox may not lie within an individual .

it may take an industry consortium to make the necessary product changes or evolve consumer expectations. Or. it may take collaboration across . Alternatively .company¶s grasp.

. In both examples cited above.industries to have lasting impact. a shift to lower-polluting sources for energy generation would mitigate an increase in demand for both products.

Overall. Doing good for the planet may not always be as a simple as motivating purchase of greener goods. In some . the green product paradox presents a difficult challenge for green marketers.

cases. y Share this: y y Facebook Email Print y y . it just might be too much of a good thing.

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ustainable marketing. Uncategoriz ed | Permalink Posted by dwigder Green Brand Leadership: a Fish Story August 16. 2010 .

as we know. But.The customer is always right ± so goes the mantra of every sales rep from time immemorial. what customers want may not be best for the planet. For some brands. this .

especially if the eco-impact is caused by lifestyle .presents a dilemma: how do you satisfy consumer needs while remaining eco-responsible? The dilemma can be quite daunting for a brand.

This challenge is only compounded when consumers are not yet aware that their very actions are having a detrimental effect ± as no brand wants .choices consumers are long accustomed to.

to be the bearer of bad news. perhaps more challenging still. brands may find that the very behaviors and rituals that help define a brand itself turn out to perpetuate the very . Or.

Whose responsibility is it to promote more sustainable consumer behaviors? Many brands would say. it is the role of .actions that are having a negative impact.

governments to regulate ± and if they don¶t, a corporate entity is not accountable for their failure to act. Others would say that it should be left to the discerning buyer. Should a brand itself take the

lead? Some may argue yes. It is a demonstration of brand leadership, they say. But, being out ahead of one¶s customers may serve brands well only when their customers expect

them to do so. Staking out a leadership position appeals to customers that want to know that they are doing good through the choices that they make. Others may argue no. Brands sell

It is hard to enjoy pleasures guilt-free if one is constantly . Worse. not morality they might say. ecoresponsible messaging may be antithetical to the experience a brand is trying to create.products.

one thing is clear: today. But. brands are increasingly left with little choice but .reminded of the impact that one is having on the planet. regardless of where one nets out on this issue.

to act ± or react ± whether or not their actions directly influence customer purchase decisions. Advocacy groups as well as individuals are leveraging the power of the media (and social media) to broadcast and .

it is likely that more and more brands .amplify their voices to sway popular opinion. Whether viewed as an opportunity to demonstrate leadership or take a defensive stance.

.will have to make such choices. One example of such tension between brands and eco-decisions recently appeared in the New York Times Magazine article by Paul Greenberg.

2010).´ (June 27. the Oceans and Us. faces a decision today over the . Nobu.³Tuna¶s End: The Fate of the Bluefin. As Greenberg writes. the internationally acclaimed sushi restaurant chain.

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna ± a prized fish for sushi and sashimi ± is now endangered.selection of seafood that it serves. Further. . Continued commercial fishing may push it to extinction.

the timing of the BP oil spill in the Gulf likely exacerbated the situation by polluting one of two known breeding grounds in the Atlantic for these fish right as mating season was to begin. .

Greenpeace is pressuring Nobu ± in large measure because it is a category leader ± to no longer serve Bluefin to its patrons. Nobu has resisted.Today. ³The . Nobu coowner Richie Notar noted.

Japanese have relied on tuna and other bounties of the sea as part of their culture and history for centuries. We are absolutely appreciative of your goals and efforts within your cause. .

It has to do with custom. .but it goes far beyond just saying that we can just taken what all of a sudden has been declared an ³endangered´ species off the menu.

´ Arguably. Nobu¶s brand identity emanates from a careful balance of adherence to the tradition and ritual of sushi ± its creation. its presentation.heritage and behavior. its .

Out of balance. innovative food creations and celebrity ownership.consumption ± and hip appeal: swanky ambiance. the brand does not deliver on the experience .

Nobu has tried to stake out a middle ground by updating its menu with the following message: ³Bluefin tuna is an environmentally .consumers have come to expect. With this balance in mind.

threatened species. such . Additionally. Please ask your server for an alternative´ Such a simple message informs patrons of the issue and then let¶s each consumer make their own choice.

What Nobu has missed. however.phrasing invites a dialogue between the patron and server regarding food substitutes. is . though it is unclear as to how many patrons would be inclined to do so.

Nobu could find an alternative to .an opportunity to leverage this situation to evolve its brand appeal ± keeping the balance between tradition and hip appeal while elevating each to the next level.

Bluefin tuna and not jeopardize the brand. Greenberg asserts that what Nobu needs is a new substitute for tuna. As part of his . but arguably reinforce consumer perception of Nobu as hip and trendy.

research. he went searching for a Bluefin substitute and may have found one in a fish known as kahala. Arguably. Nobu is missing an opportunity to be one of the first to introduce kahala .

across its menus. Nobu would not be breaking with tradition. returning to it. but rather. by introducing such a substitute. reinforcing its trendy image. as Bluefin was . Ironically.

shifting away from Bluefin and offering consumers a tasty substitute .not widely popular in sushi until just 30 years ago. It was nowhere to be found in sushi before 170 years ago. Thus.

In this case. what is good for the brand .could actually enhance Nobu¶s reputation for seeding new trends while maintaining close adherence to the tradition of sushi.

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Sust ainability.Consumer Demand. Green Strategy. Products.Sustainable marketing. Uncategoriz ed | Permalink Posted by dwigder . Green Marketing.Green Consumerism.

product adoption in the green space is a classic chicken and an egg problem: uncertain demand leads manufactures to limit the number of products they launch. a complete guide to green shopping online. Even with those receptive to a green message. Standards have been adopted in certain categories and many more are on the way. Yet. this only tells half the story as there are many reasons why demand is limited. familiarity with what existing ones mean (i.. Can consumers rely on standards? Perhaps. One such source is the recently launched thepurplebook green. green faces many barriers to widespread adoption. rollout of new standards takes time.Shopping for Green Online March 4. in turn. thepurplebook series enters the green market with significant brand awareness«and . hampers consumers from effectively navigating the category as well as making informed purchase decisions.e. Like many nascent categories. curtails demand. Fellow consumers? Uncertain. as their peers are likely to have equally limited experience with green products. consumers today may turn to credible third party sources for guidance. This. in turn. Where do consumers turn for credible information today? Product companies? Not necessarily. marketers are challenged by low familiarity with green products. With an extended following already. In many ways. 2008 An Interview with thepurplebook Founder Hillary Mendelsohn With the exception of a few select product categories. Instead. growing consumer interest in green has not yet translated into substantive changes in purchase behavior by mainstream consumers. However. as consumers are increasingly skeptical about green marketing claims. how green is green?) is still limited. Limited products and product choice.

and ultimately having greener practices internally. thepurplebook green is planning a second printing.credibility as a reliable source for online shopping information. Here is what she had to say: MG: Does consumer concern for the environment translate into increased purchase of green products? HM: Purchasing power holds two powerful acts for the consumer. Purchasing green holds corporate America more accountable for creating green options. the ¶voice· that purchasing green gives the consumer has and will continue to increase the sales volume of green products. just weeks after launch. I had the opportunity to speak with thepurplebook Founder Hillary Mendelsohn. Second. We discussed growing consumer interest in the environment. Indeed. food and household items there are positive health-oriented reasons to make such purchases. MG: What types of green products do consumers purchase? . this is the consumer·s strongest voice to the corporations at large. Recently. other than voting. For both of these reasons. First. purchasing green allows the consumer to feel better about his/her choices and particularly for personal care products. the role that purchases play for consumers to express their convictions on green and the role that thepurplebook green plays in facilitating green purchases.

style or cost too much.HM: Consumers are purchasing based on their lifestyles. I am a business . and the legacy my children will inherit. Older consumers are building or remodeling green. It was slim pickings and hard to find anything at all. if I were to become part of the solution instead. That said. If we can show consumers that they do not have to compromise on quality. It is the job of thepurplebook green and those of us that care about this concern to point them in the right direction. I went to the web to see what I could find as far as earth-friendly fare was concerned. MG: What was the origin of the book? Did it evolve out of a passion for green or a business opportunity similar to your other books or a little of both? HM: I knew very little about being green prior to starting this book. we can have everyone purchasing green. create standards and make sure products do not lack in quality. I will educate myself. We must educate. taste or price. I thought. food and personal care items. But the victory lies in the fact that they are making the effort to make better choices. Young families are focused on greener/healthier cleaning. a friend invited me to see a screening of An Inconvenient Truth. The overall theme is that people are beginning to care about shopping more responsibly and are looking for ways to make better choices. Then I thought. and create a book that might help make being green easier for others. I sat in the darkened theater thinking about how I had contributed to this huge problem. what would that look like? Being an online shopping expert. MG: Are consumers purchasing green products or brown products that are now greener? HM: The answer is both. if I apply my skill set and focus exclusively on green product. I was happily writing online shopping guides when one evening.

There is education and information for those who want to learn more and great resources for those who already know why they are making better choices but can·t find the product. and what I have discovered. MG: How should merchants approach you for inclusion in the book? What is the criteria for inclusion? . they do stick with them. Once they have found good products. I do hope this book is wildly successful. is that green makes sense and makes money ² they are not mutually exclusive. The more we encourage choice and change. The idea isn·t to exclude anyone.professional. the more people will adopt greener lifestyle habits. but rather those wanting a greener lifestyle. as that will mean people are adopting change and I have done my part. MG: Who is your target audience? What beliefs do they hold about the environment? What are their demographics? Are they consistent with their behavior? HM: The beauty of this book is that it is meant for the eco-neophyte as well as the eco-savvy. There isn·t a demographic. Consistency lies within the consumer having good experiences with green products. This is doable for everyone. but to include everyone open to making greener choices whether it is their first or someone who lives dedicated to the greenest lifestyle possible.

y Share this: . we contact the site and we do our very best to deliver consistent.thepurplebook. we let the consumer know that too.com and submit their site for inclusion. however. We are all trying to just to do better than we were yesterday. quality information to our consumers. can log on to www. This is a relatively new area and we all have much to learn.HM: Any merchants who wish to be considered for inclusion in thepurplebook Green. the site must be reasonable to navigate. and need to keep that in mind and not judge too harshly. All of the sites listed in the book are exceptional or they would not be there. or a site is not completely green but has a substantial green offering. If we have questions. No one knows it all ² yet. Our criteria includes the following: You must be able to complete the transaction online using a secure server. MG: How do you determine how green a company is? Do you use a ratings system? HM: We have familiarized ourselves with all of the certifications currently used and have tried to glean a working knowledge of what is and isn·t green. we do make a special acknowledgement for those sites that also package and ship green. If we question it. customer service policies must be clearly stated and fair and a phone number is required for all sites.

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Sustainability. Green Marketing. Products. Pricing. Green Brands. Organic foods. Green retail. Sustaina ble marketing.products. Targeting | Permalink Posted by dwigder . IN TERVIEWS. Greenwashing. Green Consumer Demand. environmental marketing.

this holiday season has seen a rather muted push on green by retailers.Green May Be Ho-Hum for the Holidays. But It·s Here to Stay December 12. both in terms of the products they sell and the messages they communicate to consumers. Marshal Cohen. Chief Industry . 2007 So far.

As such. In fact. it is not surprising that we do not see a sudden surge in demand for these items this season. as a trend. retailers are left to their own devices to determine what is eco-friendly ² and.µ Indeed. could it be the case that after so much hype early in the year. Consumers may not equate green with spreading holiday cheer. recently suggested that such lack of enthusiasm by retailers reflects waning interest in green. As such. spreads and matures. As such. . Moreover. When it comes to giving a gift that is overtly green. Reuters recently reported that retailers such as Target. few standards are in place to determine how green is green. Regardless of how successful this season is for green. While most retailers are taking steps to green their operations and supply chains. clothes made from organic cotton have not been adopted by the mass market yet. While interest in green may wax and wane. Without them.´ But. Today. A spokesman for J.Analyst at NPD Group. While social norms are changing. Quite simply.C Penney added: ³It¶s something that is growing in importance with the customer«[but it¶s in] its early days. are left exposed to criticism by outsiders who may think otherwise. green is here to stay. unlike organic foods. the apparent lack of enthusiasm shown by retailers this holiday season reflects the fact that we are still early on the adoption curve. many retailers today are focused more on greening their internal initiatives than greening specific products. green is just getting started. Green products that have been adopted by the mass market ² including compact florescent light bulbs and hybrid cars ² may not make the best stocking stuffers. early signs suggest that retailers left their Birkenstocks home for the holidays. Penney recognized green as a trend but does not have plans to promote green merchandise this holiday season (Barneys is apparently a notable exception). as a result. being green today is still in many regards a personal virtue rather than societal expectation. Wal-Mart and J. Here·s why: Green products popular today are not necessary gift ready.C. few have taken steps to green the shopping experience. marketers must remember that we are still in an early adoption cycle for green. there are five global influencers that will ensure that as a trend it grows. Cohen stated: ´It·s basically a card that a lot of people played while it was hot and trendy«and it got overplayed. gift-givers may fear that giving a green gift may be perceived by recipients as politicizing the holidays. consumers may worry that they may be perceived by friends and family as the Grinch. Retailers fear being accused of greenwashing. the green trend has faded just as it was getting off the ground? Marketing Green believes just the opposite: as a trend.

the burden is on the consumer to decide how competitive products stack up while leaving well-intentioned companies vulnerable to greenwashing accusations by critics that disagree with their claims. ´There·s no escaping the facts: global warming will bring hunger. Without standards today. Director of Global Climate Change Programmes for World Wildlife Fund stated. 150 leading companies ² including US multinationals Coca-Cola. Nike. Leadership by business: Some may find it surprising that many global corporations are strong proponents of action on climate change. In this situation. but they do not like to do so at other people·s expense. earthquakes. the faster business can respond and plan for the future ² by modifying capital investment decisions or commercializing new products. volcanoes.Changing physical environment. therefore. consumers are beginning to experience erratic weather patterns that are likely ² though not certainly ² being caused and/or exacerbated by global warming. . consumers have a high awareness of climate change as an environmental concern. climate change mitigation may be similar to enforcing fair labor laws or worker safety practices ² it is just what you do or risk a backlash from consumers. The sooner government acts to set acceptable carbon emission levels. So why would global companies lead the charge? Corporations know that mandates on carbon emissions are inevitable. Americans may be voracious consumers. As a consumer issue. Such visible signs will likely increase and intensify with time. standards will be developed within each product category that determine how green is green.Johnson & Johnson and Sun Microsystems ² have already signed acommunique on climate change and presented at the UN conference this month in Bali that calls for legally binding targets for carbon emissions. Oxfamrecently reported that weather-related natural disasters have increased four-fold over the past two decades while geologicrelated ones (eg. Moreover. Increasingly concerned consumers: In the US today. GE. providing a constant reminder that something in our world is not in balance. once global emission caps are put into place.µ Marketers should be prepared that such a realization may cause a sea change in how American consumers view the brands that they purchase. for example. but arguably relatively low awareness of the severity of its impact ² especially on the poor who are least responsible for its cause but most vulnerable to its adverse affects. companies decide for themselves to what level they should green their products. While the melting of the ice caps may still be an abstract concept for most. As Hans Verolme. Indeed. floods and water shortages. Indeed. etc) have remained steady.

Watchdog role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): In many ways. green products have taken off. So. fueled by increased membership and financial backing over the past few years. More than ever. followed by 30% growth in 2006. despite (or as a result of) earmarking a combined $70 billion toward green investments and loans. NGOs are flexing their muscle by challenging corporate activities that they deem as destructive to the environment or deceptive to consumers. Early signs are that green may not bring holiday cheer to retailers. Moreover. Five key influencers will not only ensure that is the case but accelerate its growth over time. Interestingly. The result: 20% growth in green buildings in 2005.Where standards have emerged though. Nonetheless. a primary contributor to global warming. Though consumer focus on green may fluctuate. NGOs serve as watchdogs for industry on environmental issues. there has been a sea change in Australia. such organizations enjoy increasing clout. signed the Kyoto accord as one of his first acts of government. both Bank of America and Citigroup were recently the target of a grassroots campaign by Rainforest Action Network to the fact that these banks also fund coal-fired plants. Involvement by governments: Today. For example. the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Worksvoted last week for an ambitious 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. there is growing global support for action on global warming. the newly-elected Prime Minister. Do the Right Thing and Climate Counts. y Share this: . Today. green marketers should remain steadfast. Today. Over the past couple of weeks. Signs of this momentum are perhaps nowhere more prevalent than in the US and Australia ² two countries that have long been holdouts for global action. as Kevin Rudd. marketers should take note. even companies that are viewed as leaders on green do not get a pass by NGOs when activities are deemed inconsistent with their competitive positioning on green. One great example is the creation of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification that set standards for green buildings. green as a trend is here to stay. consumers can also serve as watchdogs as well by rating corporate green activities through sites such as Greenwashing Index.

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Greenwashing . S ustainable marketing | Permalink Posted by dwigder . Green Strategy. Green Consumer Demand. Green Consumerism. Retail.environmental marketing. Eco-friendly products.beliefs.Sustainability. Green Brands. Consumer beliefs. Green Marketing.

manufacturers and retailers are focusing on greener consumption ² a term which implies shifting to products and services that have a lower environmental impact. there are positive signs that demand for greener products is increasing sharply. short of reducing consumption. Indeed. In fact. . though in many cases. ´green consumptionµ makes Wikipedia·s ´List of Genuine Oxymoraµ. Today. Yet.Greening Cons umption November 14. is hard to call truly green. The reason: consumption by its very nature has an impact on the environment ² to some degree or another ² and therefore. 2007 An Interview with Michel Gelobter. the Natural Marketing Institute reports that the $200+ billion Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) market is expected to double by 2010 and quadruple by 2015. many consumers. not specifying by how much. Founder and EVP of Cooler Long-time environmental activist Paul Hawkins once described ´green consumerismµ as an oxymoron.

Gaiam. . EcoWise.Green Deals Daily. Sites include EcoBusinessLink. Nigel·s Eco Store (UK). Green People. Green Store. Earth Friendly Goods. Green Feet. pressure from partners across the supply chain and risk to the brand simply by being complacent. For example. Guide Me Green(UK). of course. They include three primary categories: Green online retailers: Many online retailers have emerged that are dedicated to serving the green market including Buy Green. Green directories: Finally. One of the best examples is Wal-Mart. General online retailers. EcoMall. despite this growth rate. Shop Green (PriceGrabber). The Green Office and VivaTerra among others. product search engines and shopping guides. LOHAS spending is still a drop in the budget when it comes to US consumer buying power ² estimated at more that $10 trillion in 2007. As such. Rogue Natural Living. There are many ways to motivate the purchase of greener products across the purchase funnel. Pristine Planet. Great Green Goods (blog). Green Shopper. by selling fluorescent bulbs at lower cost under its own private label). Greening a product in the first place. Evolve Shopping. more concentrated laundry detergent formulas reduce the use of energy for transportation) while expanding the market for others (eg. is the best way to reduce its environmental footprint. EcoSeek. Several general merchandisers and portals have embedded a green section into their existing offering. Yet. Indigenous. Perhaps the most comprehensive guide to online eco-friendly shopping is published by thepurplebook. other online sites have positioned themselves as green directories. Haute*Nature (blog) National Green Pages. Green Providers Directory (UK). Green Home. it has identified $10 billion in potential savings simply by decreasing product packaging. Green Shopping Guide (UK). Eco Choices. including Amazonand MSN among others. andTheFindGreen among others. It has also required its suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the products that it sells (eg. Companies are motivated to do so for a variety of reasons including increased consumer demand. Evolvist. Here are a few examples: Make existing products greener.Natural Collection (UK).There are many online retailers and content sites that offer green products directly or simply help consumers navigate the market. Green Shopping (UK). Green Shop (UK). use and disposal. the greater challenge is to shift spending on mainstream products to greener ones and do so in a way that also provides the incentive for mainstream manufacturers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products over time. Product companies have the opportunity to green their products ² including sourcing.

While carbon offsets are not without controversy. several organizations have taken the lead in developing or aggregating green rating systems including Green Seal. eco-labels are actively being used or under consideration by manufacturers. CO2 Balance. Marketing Green explores both of these levers in two previous blog entries. to help it reduce the impact of its suppliers as well. Retailers can provide options to do so ² as most airline sites do today. promotional benefits or green rewards tied to a loyalty program. Offset Carbon Company (UK). Today. Climate Counter. Moreover. (´Green Labels as Drivers of Consumption and Loyalty Programsµ. Offset environment impact. While the offset mechanism may vary ² from purchasing allowances on a carbon exchange to investing in renewable energy projects ² the effect is similar: offsets reduce the carbon impact of consumption by effectively removing the equivalent amount from the environment elsewhere. more and more companies and consumers are turning to carbon offsets (and renewable energy credits or RECs) to mitigate the environmental impact of products manufactured or purchased. to Wal-Mart·s pressure and lead. Eco-labels and ratings impact consumer purchase decisions by providing relevant environmental information at the point of sale ² and indirectly motivate greener product design and manufacturing decisions by making green a differentiating attribute. Climate Friendly. Dell). Promotional benefits and rewards can also influence consumer purchase behavior. Consumer Report·s Green Choices.Solar Electric Light Fund. retailer (eg. ratings. HP. for example ² or consumers can purchase them directly from many brokers including Atmosfair (Germany) Better World Club. Climate Care. Product companies and retailers can influence behavior by interjecting green as a considered attribute in the purchase decision. Wal-Mart. My Climate. they can be a powerful way to mitigate the impact of consumption. It has also joined the Supply Chain Leadership Coalition. Native Energy. Home Depot) andgovernment regulators. March 19. ´Testing Green Promotional Benefits to Drive Acquisitionµ. . sites like Alonovo allow users to filter products based on their own green values. carbon offsets can be voluntary. There are several ways to do so including the use of eco-labels. the US EPA·s Energy Star and independent Better World Shopper. Moreover. Carbon Leaf (UK). (eg. There are several ways that carbon offsets are purchased today: First. September 16. in part. 2007. Offsetters (Canada).Due perhaps. Carbon Fund. Motivate greener choices. Today. ClimatMundi. 2007). an industry organization that pressures suppliers to publish information on carbon emissions. Carbon Zero (Canada). Procter & Gamble has responded with a commitment to sell $20 billion worth of greener products over the next five years.

Given their reach. Yet.Sustainable Travel International. Such card programs have advantages and disadvantages. Recently. TreeBanking. Alternatively. retailers play no more than a passive role in facilitating carbon offset purchases by providing the mechanism to do so on their site. These cards divert a portion of their fees to mitigate the impact of the products purchased through a donation to a non-profit organization or direct purchase of carbon offsets. Second. Typically. and Uniglobe Travel among others. to do so. embedded in the purchase price or covered as part of the transaction fee. Companies as diverse as insurance giantAllstate.purchasing a carbon offset by embedding it directly into the cost of its vacation packages. Distributing 8 million products from 400 retailers. sites such asCooler and Earth Moment enable consumers to purchase products from traditional retailers while offsetting the carbon impact of these purchase in the process.rather than opt-in to . MetaBank. a promising. from their perspective. airline miles) for ones that provide more societal benefits. In doing so. Such a model is compelling to consumers as. Alternatively.Triodos Bank and Wells Fargo have launched green cards while Bank of America and upstart Brighter Planet have announced their intentions to do so. Virgin is now actively selling carbon offsets to customers while in-flight. credit cards can green a significant amount of consumer spending simply by providing the incentive to consumers to make their purchases on a card with green benefits. credit card transaction fees can be used to offset carbon emissions as well. The case of Virgin Atlantic is different. Cooler has clearly been one of the most innovative players in the space. In this case the product company is absorbing the cost directly or raising its price to cover the added expense. GE. (Interestingly. it is no more than an additional option available during the check-out process. carbon offsets can be structured into the transaction itself ² treated as a promotional expense. however. UK·s Silver Jet and Fiji Water are making their products carbon natural (or even carbon negative) as a way to differentiate their offering. Target Neutral(UK). in response to low voluntary purchases. Cooler provides . the cost of the carbon offset is absorbed by the retailer and they can green their purchases while using their existing credit cards. Sunvil Holidays (UK) goes one step further by putting the burden on the consumer to opt-out of . The Carbon Neutral Company. new retail model has emerged that divert a portion of revenues earned through affiliate marketing programs to pay to offset the carbon from products purchased. issuers including Barclays. Allstate is offering to offset the carbon emissions from the automobiles that it insures). cardholders must trade in personal benefits earned from traditional reward programs (eg. In many cases. Terrapass. While numerous companies are involved in carbon offsetting.

MG: Does it calculate the entire impact of the product. We do that with three offerings. And that is what Cooler is about. We discussed the recent launch of his company. we set out to create a basis on which consumers could take action in a way that was trusted and transparent. The first is that we use the country·s only product and service carbon calculator that was developed jointly by Carnegie Mellon and Berkeley. Here are his words: Marketing Green: By offsetting the carbon impact of products purchased. We also give people a way to track their impact and start thinking about carbon budgeting. its B2B and B2C offerings and the challenges that we all face in greening consumption. But [the environmental impact] tends to be much lower which can be a surprise to our customer base. What was the impetus for starting the company? Cooler: We wanted to find ways to create the momentum in the consumer space for taking action on climate change. the innovative piece is that it adds the retail component which ranges usually from 20-30% of a product·s carbon footprint. 40% of the average American·s carbon footprint is in consumption of goods and services. But. That exploration led to what has now become Cooler. . And finally. Our mission as a company is to connect every purchase with a solution for global warming. Cooler is distinguished by being the first site where you can purchase practically anything you can buy on the Internet ² except for maybe a plane ticket ² in a way that eliminates the global warming impact through the point of sale. MG: How about shipping? C: Yeah. I had the opportunity of sitting down with Michel Gelobter. Climate Cooler has the potential to change the game in the online retail space. We already have the My Impact page which tells [consumers] what they are emitting. that is. Founder and Executive VicePresident at Cooler. it includes that too. how it is manufactured.consumers with the largest selection of products that can be purchased with an embedded carbon offset. used and disposed of? C: It is just to the point of sale: how it is manufactured and transported. After all. The second piece of this offering is our basket of carbon offsets or pollution prevention and renewable investments that have been unanimously approved by the world·s best environmental organizations. Recently.

Companies started coming to us and saying: ´How can I put your works into my gears so when people come to my website ² or bricks and mortar store ² they can get a carbon neutral product. Peer-reviewed studies show that this method is. Finally. we say ´how much of the leather industry did this company use?µ. but the website in some sense can be seen as a technology showcase. this is what it could look like. C: Yes. It is based on an approach called economic input/output analysis. on average. We are using a method that is. MG: In your B2C work. Instead of looking at a shoe and saying ´where did that leather come from?µ. The bigger piece of the business is really the B2B offering. a list of the top contributors to your carbon impact. That is usually enough to motivate companies to bench mark against those numbers and reduce their impact. that is. companies buy offsets with us. on average.µ Our B2B offering is called Cooler Compete which is basically a way for companies to know. MG: You are ambitious in trying to serve two different audiences with very distinct offerings. more accurate [than existing calculators]. We think that most of our business customers are going to absorb the costs of carbon neutrality.µ So that is why the website is really critical. And the difference is that those companies are going to make a choice about who pays for [the offset]. MG: What services are you providing in the B2B space? C: First. we are providing the [carbon emission] calculation. whereby we calculate the footprint of a product directly through the economy.MG: So do you view part of the value that you bring is educating consumers on their true environmental impact? C: In the consumer space. more [inclusive] from an environmental perspective because it includes more of the carbon footprint than [other] analysis. Our calculator is really revolutionary. We don·t actually make any profit from our offsets ² we pass the costs directly through. offset and reduce the global warming impact of the products that they sell. who is the typical customer that you are targeting? . The web site gives [companies] the sense like ´Oh. absolutely. But our basket of offsets is very high quality. The second service is really a reduction service.

when you tell a friend. MG: How receptive are consumers today to carbon offsets? C: I think we are easily 10 to 20 years out from having a stable. the best decisions are being made. For example. On average. MG: Are there plans to offset carbon emissions from the use and disposal of the products that you sell? CC: We do not have any plans to address that now. We can also have people compete to see who is more carbon neutral. We are not just meeting the next increment of energy demand with cleaner energy. Our offsets are additional so they are already above and beyond everything done today.C: We are partnering with environmental organizations so our early go-to-market strategy is [targeting] the members of our partner organizations. we get 6% [of the total sale]. Now we are trying to move from the environmental group members to more of the LOHAS crowd. . additional and positive. we will target a broader and broader swath of the American public as more people become conscious of this issue. The cost of the [carbon] offset ranges from 0. It means helping to create jobs or generate more environmental protection or biodiversity. We follow three criteria that are summarized as follows: real. well-defined commodity market for offsets. MG: How does the B2C business model work? Is it an affiliate model? C: It is. we are honing our technology platform to make that more potent. we are able to report back to you how much your friends offset. hopefully in the United States.5% and we keep the rest for the business. We·re actually capturing or reducing an emission somewhere else in the world. trustworthy. MG: Do you think offsets take on more meaning when the US market moves from a voluntary to a mandated cap and trade system? C: No. Over time. MG: How important is viral to your marketing strategy? C: Viral would be great.7 to 1. Right now. And ´positiveµ means doing more for the world than just helping the climate. One of the reasons we partnered with the environmental groups is to give consumers assurances that at any moment in time. ´Realµ means that we are taking carbon out of the atmosphere when you buy something. ´Additionalµ means that this would not have happened where it not for your purchase. if we refer someone [to an online retailer that subsequently makes a purchase]. I think personally that people need to take action now.

Until that time and maybe well beyond it.It is going to be a long time before governments are actually cutting emissions by 80%. We have to go in and fix it. And we are going to do our best to make sure that happens. MG: It is conceivable that your success could provide incentive for others to enter the market and that one day. We can not be paralyzed by the fact that shopping and consumption is part of the problem. That is one of the reasons why we started the company. MG: Will this actually help solve global warming? C: I absolutely think it·s a huge part of the solution. unfortunately. People have been trading goods for money for a long time and the system·s broken. by 2050. we would love it as a company and a social event if this became a must have. we want to be the place where consumers can know that by acting their doing their part above and beyond what government is doing. offsets will simply be a threshold to compete? C: Of course. And climate change is actually a huge archetype for a wide range of ways to reknit the fabric of shopping with the fabric of community and earth care. y Share this: y y Facebook .

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Green Brand Disconn ect October 26. 2007). corporate director of environmental affairs at the Aspen Skiing Company (ASC). . 2007 This week·s cover story in BusinessWeek featured the experience of Auden Schendler. as he tried to convince his senior management that going green was worth the investment (´Little Green Lies.µ October 29.

as the company has incorporated green as a core brand pillar and a central theme in its marketing communications. In one example. as Schendler points out. CFLs have already gone mainstream. used ´high-profile skiers and snowboarders to tout the resort operator·s environmental record and urging others to take action. Moreover. ASC is not as green as its brand might suggest. In the luxury hotel category. ´Fluorescent light would suggest a waiting-room ambience. 75% of hotel guests are willing to participate in environmental programs.From an outsider·s perspective. however. too. In fact. In fact. Yet. despite the fact that incandescent light bulbs are more profitable for them.µ Such a world view. WalMart has sold over 100MM of these bulbs this year alone. The rationale: CFLs are not aligned with the brand experience ASC wants for its customers. jeopardizing the establishment·s five-star rating. In fact. Today. As one hotel manager said. ASC launched a new advertising campaignthat. 95% of Gen Xers and 79% Gen Yers. many luxury hotels already use CFLs for lighting. senior management has resisted even modest investments in proven technologies ² such as compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) in hotel rooms ² that yield measurable cost savings and a positive ROI. just weeks before the BusinessWeek article ran. And. apparently. not investing in CFLs seems contrary to ASC·s own brand positioning and communications in the market. Schendler points out that in the past. does not seem to acknowledge evolving social norms and consumer expectations regarding green. according to the Salt Lake Tribune. it seems that ASC·s decision not to invest in CFLs may be at odds with current consumer sentiment.µ This campaign is . an even higher percentage of guests are willing to participate: 87% of Baby Boomers. According to a recentJD Powers Hotel Guest Satisfaction Survey. As such. Their light quality has improved tremendously. one might think that ASC would be highly receptive to eco-friendly investment opportunities. things are not always at they appear. Based on this consumer data it seems that ASC may be underestimating their guests· interest in and expectations for green as part of their hotel experience. retailers are selling them aggressively.

000 CFLs to its customers. At worst. the company risks that its marketing efforts are perceived as green washing. y Share this: y .supported by a lightly branded microsite called Save Snow which educates visitors about what ASC is doing and what others can do to reduce climate impact. Not only can such programs provide attractive ROIs. the campaign also includes plans to send 40. for companies such as ASC. Hotels should not be afraid to invest in green initaitives including CFLs. Ironically. Consumers are increasingly willing to participate in environmental programs at hotels. at best. but. inconsistent with its brand. So. For ASC. marketers should take note. they can ensure that the consumer experience aligns with their brand positioning in the market. the decision not to purchase CFLs is. and especially at luxury ones.

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however. building awareness with a 60-second spot will likely result in more searches being conducted by consumers that turn to the web to find out more information or link to the advertiser·s site.Search Is Paramount in the Emerging Green Categor y August 7. 2) connect consumers with relevant content based on self-identified interests. 2007 Paid search continues to grow and is now considered by most marketers to be a core component of their online marketing tool kits. 4) scale spend in the channel (to a point) and 5) enhance the productivity of other channels. 3) pay only when consumers click on a sponsored link. There are several reasons for search·s continued dominance. This continued growth is not surprising. as it is hard to beat search as a marketing channel for both its efficiency and effectiveness. . For example. Search allows marketers to 1) engage consumers as they actively seek information in market.

as well as recommendations for green marketers on how to maximize the impact of the search channel: Consumers have a growing interest in green. EcoEarth. but limited familiarity. EcoSeeker and Earthle am ong others ² is growing nonetheless based on the perception that green vertical search engines return more relevant results than general search.GreenLinkCentral. The popularity of green vertical search engines ² including Green Maven. Many consumers are curious about the emerging green category but have relatively low understanding of the category or how to navigate it. search also represents a powerful component of the overall media mix.To green marketers.or brand-specific information. GreenGamma. LiveGreenOrDie. consumers are more likely to research product choices before making purchase decisions and turn to online search when they do so. this means establishing broad presence in paid search across both the general as well as green vertical search engines in order to intercept consumers when they actively seek category-. Greener. For marketers. product. Marketing Green believes that search is even more critical for marketers of green products than for more established products because green is an emerging category that has high consumer interest but is difficult to navigate due to the lack of familiarity and standards. Moreover. In fact. . As such. Here are few reasons why. Consumers today conduct that vast majority of green searches through general search engines such as Google and Yahoo and will likely to continue to do so in the near term. green search will continue to increase as awareness and interest grows and consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for answers.

Palore is one example which enables consumers to identify green merchants when using Google·s search engine. Note the symbols included under each listing ² including the carrot which denotes that the restaurant offers organic foods. Below is Palore functionality loaded into Google Maps.In addition. green filters are emerging that allow consumers to search with greater precision either as an overlay to existing search engines or as a way to narrow the results based on a set of business rules regarding green. .

. online sites are emerging help locate products and retailers offline. Evolvist locates products and retailers by geography.In addition.

take advantage of this by greatly expanding and testing the number of keyword and keyword combinations purchased. therefore. an awareness campaign should include both branded. Marketers should refresh this list frequently as the entire category is still very much in flux. which results in a spectrum of products. features. Moreover. For example. As product proliferate. Consumers are hungry for relevant content. Product ´greennessµ is relative. . Green products are being launched every day across almost every product category. Products and brands are proliferating. compare features and validate choices. category and product-specific keywords. benefits and trade-offs that consumers must weigh before making purchase decisions. so too will our vocabulary that describes them. consumers turn to credible information sources to learn about products. these lists should align with marketing campaigns and their objectives across the purchase funnel.Alternatively. Marketers should. however. Alonovo filters products and retailers based on their relative corporate social responsibility and ´greennessµ. Lacking familiarity with green products.

This is important for several reasons. Rollyo and Yahoo Search Builder. Moreover. relatively low consumer familiarity and few standards.Marketers should respond by providing relevant content on landing pages that link from both paid ² and natural ² search. . This is important with current algorithm-based search engines. community-powered search engines will likely become more popular as search results are informed by the collective experience of the community. consumers are more likely to engage in the content if it is relevant to their search. With green products emerging rapidly. community-powered search engines will likely play an important role in facilitating this process in the near future. In a world where consumers put considerable trust in the opinions of their peers. as well as with emerging community-powered and/or customized search engines such as Eurekster Swicki. This is especially important in an emerging category such as green. consumers will likely turn to peers to help make informed purchase decisions. more relevant consumer experience. content that pays off corresponding keywords searched translates into a better. First.

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many .Competing on Green Accelerates Pace of Change June 6. Given that consumer expectations are evolving. companies in categories such as computers and retail struggle to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. 2007 In today·s hypercompetitive markets.

Interestingly. minds and share of wallet ² are playing tit for tat when it comes to green. y Share this: y . Dell is trying to shift a basis of competition to green. HP ² already no slouch on green issues (it once invited Greenpeace to its annual shareholders meeting) ² will have little choice but to follow suite. As this message will likely resonate with its core consumer.of these companies are turning to green to differentiate their offerings by being greener than their competitors. CEO Michael Dell went further stating that Dell would ´take the lead in setting an environmental standard for [the] industry«and intend[ed] to maintain that leadershipµ. Today. and Dell and HP ² already engaged in intense battles for consumer hearts. As the basis of competition shifts to the green space. accelerating change in the category. it is likely that companies will vie for leadership on the issue. companies seem to be continually upping the ante by trying to outdo each other for being the greenest company in the category. The lesson for marketers is clear: as the basis for competition shifts to green. While it is unclear whether it will match Dell·s challenge head-on. Industry leaders such as Wal-Mart and Tesco. Dell is demonstrating more than just responsible corporate citizenship. for example. With HP recently regaining it leadership position in a market where PCs are increasingly viewed as a commodity. 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. Through such an announcement. Dell announced that that it plans to become the ´greenest technology company on Earthµ. green competitiveness is having an unintended consequence: green competitive pressure is accelerating the rate of change within these categories. HP is certain to raise its commitment to green through announcements during the coming weeks.

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here are a few thoughts to consider: First. including the $56 billion US direct mail industry. Today. . the ´Do Not Callµ campaign was one of the most successful campaigns in history. direct marketers rely on DM as a core channel to send targeted information to customers (from an in-house database or purchased from an external list). eliminating the ability of marketers to send solicitations without permission? Sound fantastical? Well. more than 132 million people were registered on the list. resulting in 62 million consumers signing up in the first yearalone. HSBC acquires new customers that have built-in switching costs via the automatic payment options and the environment is healthier due to reduced paper consumption.Brewing Direct Mail Backlash May 8. What happens then if consumer backlash against the mounds of direct mail received each day results in a national ´Do Not Mailµ list. Such an offer is a win-win-win: customers receive a high value offer. 2007 This past week HSBC launched its ´There·s No Small Changeµ campaign offering Green Kits full of ecoproducts and offers to new customers that sign up for a checking account and HSBC·s automatic bill payment option. Such changing sentiment could foreshadow a backlash by consumers and advocacy groups that may force marketers to rein in all paper-based marketing efforts. One of the reasons why such an offer may resonate with consumers is the growing acceptance that paper-based communications are not environmentally sound. As of September 2006.

reduced frequency and size of package). WA AK.Second. MI. TX Status Active/In Committee Postponed/Withdrawn Inevitably. websites. VT. Nine of these initiatives are still active (of which 5 are in Northeastern states where there is also real concern about limited landfill space): States CT. ´Do Not Mailµ legislation has been introduced in more than 14 states so far this year that would create state-based registries. use of post-consumer recycled paper. Smart green marketers should interpret pending legislation as a call-to-arms and take proactive steps to reduce their addiction to paper-based channels before they have to go cold turkey. According to the Direct Marketing Association. desktop widgets). MT. MO. y Share this: y y Facebook Email y . e-catalogs. CO. increasing their reliance on electronic communications (eg. NJ. such a registry (or the threat of one) will cause marketers to rethink paper-based channels. email. NY.HI. MD. a ´Do Not Mailµ registry is gaining traction. RI. e-statements. It is also likely to decrease the footprint of any remaining direct mail efforts (eg.

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000. Another reason is simply that consumers have not traditionally prioritized ´greenµ as a deciding attribute when making purchase decisions. One of the primary reasons is that consumers tend to not like paying price premiums for green products. Though still in the early stages of their adoption. Corporate Manager of Consumer Generated Media. Moreover. for marketers. hybrids have already generated broad appeal with mainstream consumers. The results from a recent consumer survey by Topline Strategy Group (´Why People Really Buy Hybridsµ. . Few green companies have been able to expand their niche beyond a core set of customers.Hybrids Shift into the Mass Market April 29. Moreover. the stereotype of hybrid owners as treehuggers is far from the truth: in fact. certain green brands like the Toyota Prius seem to be crossing this ´chasmµ into the mass market.000 or more. Topline found that 73% of Prius owners surveyed acted like mass market consumers (ie. Toyota Shifting a company·s customer base from early adopters to mass market consumers is one of the key challenges facing green marketers. 2007 Part II of an Interview with Bruce Ertmann. mainstream consumers. they had a financial incentive to purchase the vehicle such as lower sticker price or operating costs than other choices considered) versus 23% of early adopters who paid a premium over alternative choices to purchase the hybrid. 2007) concur. Prius owners are an attractive target audience: 71% have household incomes over $100. they are high income. with 28% at $200. Yet.

But we have changed that now. Corporate Manager of Consumer Generated Media at Toyota. it truly has become a mainstream vehicle. [March] will be a record sales month.000 Prius vehicles nationwide ² a record for us. Recently. And then in January our Prius sales dropped off significantly. Yes. we sold 2. That vehicle as a hybrid version has become very hot. We pulled all of our Prius advertising for a while. The demographic is such that the more mainstream Camry buyers interested in a hybrid version found the premium to be tolerable. Here are his words: MG: What kind of consumers purchase Prius vehicles? BE: When we first launched the Prius. we had those diehard owners. we had all of this new inventory coming into the dealership. But. I had the opportunity to speak with Bruce Ertmann. our top selling car. But. MG: Are you seeing the same customer shift across all your vehicles? BE: Yes. At the same time. . So. We spoke of Toyota·s success in the hybrid market. list we had inventory at our dealerships ² which is frankly normal. our belief is that integrating hybrid technology into more of our vehicles is the smart thing to do. its target audience and the shift to the mass market consumer. [Toyota·s] US president went to bat for us this past summer and was able to get additional production in Japan. Production came on late last year [followed by a] big sales push in December which most manufacturers have. So instead of a six month waiting. We began to see some of the traditional media ask whether the bloom was off the rose for the Prius and hybrid technology in general. in February we had a strong sales month. we were undersupplied with the Prius. definitely. While was kind of unique in of itself ² and perhaps greenoriented you might say ² because we did not have enough vehicles to supply demand. Just this past weekend. it is at least directionally representative of what Toyota itself is observing in the market. We are seeing this with the Camry. MG: How have you evolved your marketing as your audience shifts? BE: We have changed our marketing approach to push it towards a more mainstream audience. passionate people. people joked about all of the tree huggers who bought the car. For the longest time.While it is uncertain whether this research is statistically significant (n=118). Right now. The vehicle continues to be hot and the hybrid technology still seems to be a winner with consumers.

We put leather in the car last year and added more features. MG: Overall. we are coming out with different versions of the Prius. It is almost like a moving auto show on a semi-truck that exhibits our hybrid technology and how we are trying to integrate it into other vehicles that we are bringing to market. From a pricing standpoint. People wanted a little bit of a luxury feel to the vehicle which may seem counter to the type of people that we may think buy that vehicle. People feel it is a smart decision on their part to drive a vehicle with hybrid technology. They do not think that they are bragging or showing off or . a sports version. People like the idea of the regenerative nature. we are trying to offer more in that vehicle for the money. We have a hybrid synergy tour. for instance.We do some different things besides straight advertising. It really is an educational effort on our part. there are others who want us to develop a Prius that you can plug-in to the electric grid to recharge the battery. For instance. how would you characterize your target audience? BE: We are seeing a broader customer demographic base that we have in the past based on our research. where you are actually recharging the battery when you put on the brakes. We show [consumers] how the technology works. At the same time. that launched last month.

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