J500 Media and the Environment

Minty fresh and green by lizhawks
October 24, 2008, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , ,

The last thing I expected at the national marketing-to-moms conference in Chicago this week was to key in to more “green” marketing to moms, but there, thanks to an insightful panel presentation, I was introduced to Preserve, a brand of parent company Recycline. Preserve is not only doing amazing, leading edge sustainability work with its products, but also aligning itself with strategic partners, like one of my favorite organics, Stonyfield Farm, maker of YoBaby and YoKids yogurt. Together, they are turning yogurt containers into toothbrushes. Yes, you read that right. And, Preserve toothbrushes are available at Target, making it even easier for time-strapped moms to go green by inserting green options into the mass channel!


So, what was the trigger point at which the mom consumer developed her big green bullseye? Are moms more interested in going green today than ever before, or are emerging green brands savvy enough to know that their marketing techniques can get moms to become greener, even if by merely changing their toothbrushes?


Delving into this chicken-and-egg issue a little deeper, I found insightful 2007 research published by Cone that showed consumers are looking to advertisements to help educate them on their favorite brands’ environmental efforts, and not surprisingly, these messages are most effective beyond “doing the right thing” to saving the consumer money and benefiting his or her health. Moms respond to green consumer product marketing for the same reasons farmers in South Central Kansas respond to wind power – they’re asking “what’s in it for me?” The value-add key messages that a toothbrush can not only benefit the environment but also save you money versus competitors while eliminating plaque and tartar build up to boot is a pretty persuasive package.


Bonus: Giveaway opportunity! The first person to post a response will win a free Preserve toothbrush! You don’t want to miss this green swag!


Inspired by the next generation to go green. Photo: Flickr

 –Liz Hawks







3 Comments so far
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This comes down to what seems to have been a theme in every discussion about communicating green initiatives I’ve heard. Yes, most people care about the environment, but what we really want to know is what’s in it for us? If you recall, one of the first suggested articles we read for our J840 class pointed out that conscious consumers purchase green products that also offer some degree of convenience. So if they’re easily accessible, if the price is right, consumers prefer to buy green. As a mom, I can say that I’m more worried now about the environment than ever before. But again, convenience is important. Moms are busy. If we can find green products at Target, it’s better than having to go to Whole Foods (I love Whole Foods, but there are many more Targets than Whole Foods around).

Angelike Gaunt

Comment by angelikeg

Interesting! Thanks for the insight into Preserve. Great question about at what point did the idea of going green reach its tipping point with moms? As you point out, going green perhaps resonates with mom beyond simply doing the right thing, to saving money and health benefits. Mom targeted green initiatives seems to be the next stepping stone on the list of hot buttons regarding purchase decisions. Healthy options for kids and cause marketing have become a cost of entry into the mom segment. Perhaps going green is becoming the next stepping stone. As we, as marketers, have experienced with cause marketing, moms more often choose the brand tied to a cause. Is green the new cause marketing? Is green becoming the message moms are looking for in their buying decisions?
Jennifer W

Comment by jenjenku

Angelike, congrats! You are the Preserve toothbrush winner! I will bring your prize to class on Nov. 7.

I think you both bring up great points about what resonates best with mom consumers. The complete package is key; the convenience aspect even more so. And including a cause marketing component is certainly a bonus, especially if part of a larget package. I think the tipping point will be when “going green” doesn’t have to be the cause, but rather the mainstream. That’s why I find it exciting that the mass channel is embracing otherwise unknown green brands, like Preserve. Moms are making 85% of household purchase decisions, or in other words, the mass majority. It’s time “green” became the mass majority rather than the needy cause.

Comment by lizhawks

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