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Mainstreaming Green:
                  9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose
    With Today's Consumer.
    Get ready people, it’s now hip (again) to care.                 But even with all the hype, there are a number of
    What took so long right? Thanks to more concerned               challenges and obstacles brands face when trying to
    consumers, a dash of post-Katrina pondering, rising             sell purpose or ‘social responsibility’ to a mainstream
    prices at the pump, dependence on coal and foreign              consumer. And in order for positive social change to
    oil, Al Gore and the environment playing a leading              occur on a massive scale, corporations, entrepreneurs,
    role at the Academy Awards, and an onslaught of                 and marketers alike will need to become better
    new product offerings; purpose-related products                 educated and more aware of why these current and
    and services have quickly beamed their way up on                prospective conscience consumers choose, buy, use,
    the consumer’s radar.                                           and even dispose of purposeful products.


                                                                    You see, before we can build companies, brands, and
                                                                    products that inspire a better tomorrow, we must first
                                                                    take a closer look at what has and hasn’t worked up
                                                                    to now.




1    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                       © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                        www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Fringe Freak To Eco Chic
    You may have seen the term LOHAS float across your             Wal-Marts of the world pushing ‘organic’ is a great step
    desk in recent years (it stands for Lifestyles of Health       forward, but in order for large-scale change to happen,
    and Sustainability). LOHAS consumers are those who             socially-constructive companies must refine the way we
    are passionate about the environment, sustainability,          approach ALL consumers when selling purpose. You see,
    social issues, and health, and they typically make             we’re not just talking to those affluent, European sport
    conscious purchasing decisions based on their social           wagon consumers at the upscale mall, but we’re now
    and cultural values. Or as David Brotherton, a Seattle         also chatting directly with those consumers filling up
    consultant in corporate responsibility describes, “The         their mini-vans at the local Costco.
    people who used to drive the VW bus to the co-op
    are now driving the Volvo to Whole Foods.”                     So now’s the time for the difference-making
                                                                   entrepreneurs and brands of tomorrow to begin
    Over the years, we’ve given all kinds of names (some           innovating and dialing in their brand voice. They
    more flattering than others) to the more purpose-driven        must stop trying to only create for and sell to a market
    consumer: tree huggers, hippies, bohemians, cultural           that mirrors themselves, as now a larger makeup of
    creatives, latte activists, conscience consumers,              consumers are also thirsty for change. However, before
    crunchies, deep greens, cause consumers, eco-warriors,         we can inspire them to make purposeful buying
    environmentalists, new progressives, and now Lohasians.        decisions, we must first employ the same core marketing
    Whatever the clever name or acronym du jour may                fundamentals that the great lifestyle brands of today
    be, businesses large and small are now paying closer           have used when motivating large audiences. You
    to attention to this rapidly growing market, as this           know, create that aspirational magnet and leave that
    passionate and influential audience now makes up a             mirror behind.
    $228.9 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services,
    that include, but are not limited to:
                                                                   Hurdles To Mass Adoption
      •   Renewable and Alternative Energies                       E For Effort, N For No Thanks
      •   Natural and Organic Products and Services                Businesses have been actively participating in the
      •   Health and Wellness                                      purposeful (or green) space for years. While there have
      •   Eco-Tourism and Alternative Transportation               been many products with great intentions and even the
      •   Green and Sustainable Building                           occasional breakthrough success, there have also been a
      •   Clean Technologies                                       string of bombs that have ultimately fueled widespread
      •   Organic and Recyclable Fashion                           consumer reluctance to give new, more purposeful
      •   Socially-Responsible Goods & Services                    products a spin. Or in some cases, an unwillingness to
                                                                   even let them improve over time.
    And while $228.9 billion dollars seems remarkable and
    is proof that this consumer psychographic has moved            Who could forget all of those recycled paper products
    away from their fringe status of the past, there’s still a     before Seventh Generation hit their stride? Let’s see
    lot of work left to be done if the end goal is healthy         Charmin or sandpaper? Umm. How about those clunky
    social growth, not just bottom line income. Having the         fluorescent bulbs that flickered and flickered until they


2   Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                         www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d E For Effort, N For No Thanks

    eventually put out the same level of brightness as a night      So while the sustainability issues we face on this
    light (Fortunately, things have vastly improved here. If        planet are extremely pressing, they still remain incredibly
    you haven’t already, switch over to the ice-cream-swirl         futuristic to the mainstream consumer. Largely in part
    CFLs, they’re the real deal.). Or did you or any of your        because of the, “if it’s so important, why haven’t I
    friends try out some of those unflattering organic fashion      noticed anything yet” attitude. It probably comes as little
    wearables circa 1992? Not exactly runway ready.                 surprise that the products that have made the biggest
                                                                    strides thus far are those in which consumers can reap an
    Okay, we could go on and on here, but the point is,             immediate benefit; whether that’s better gas mileage with
    the product examples above unfortunately stunted the            a hybrid vehicle or a reduced electric bill because of
    consumer’s desire to go sustainable. They left a bad taste      making the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
    in the shopper’s mouth, and as you know, once you get           However, there are thousands of other remarkable,
    food poisoning, it makes it awfully hard to try that same       eco-friendly product offerings on the shelf, it’s just that
    dish again. But things have turned the corner in recent         their effects cannot be felt or noticed so instantaneously.
    years, as the products have dramatically improved in
    functionality, quality, and style. And now that we have         So how do we sell futuristic benefits? Perhaps we should
    some inventory with mainstream appeal, how do we                take a look ‘outside of category’ for inspiration on how
    make the consumer feel firsthand the eco-benefit the            to effectively communicate to the masses. Take the diet
    product provides?                                               industry for example. Do you think if we spent 1/10th
                                                                    of the time we spend marketing diets and nutritional
    See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil?                        supplements aimed at reducing our consumption of fatty
    One of the key drivers of changing consumer behavior            foods as we did with reducing the consumption of our
    has always been making the product or service connect           precious resources (oil, coal, water), could we make more
    on an emotional level. Make it personal. Make it                meaningful progress? Or will it take even higher gasoline
    relatable. You know, talk with your consumer, not               prices, more rising temperatures, more droughts, and
    at them. A giant obstacle purposeful brands need to             more frequent black outs before the green category
    overcome is their inability to connect with a mainstream        becomes more personal and more relatable?
    audience that simply cannot see, feel, or even imagine
    the benefits that sustainable products deliver.                 Remember the heart smart icon that slowly found
                                                                    its way onto every chain restaurant menu? You know
    There’s no denying issues such as Global Warming                the one, order this dish and it will reduce your risk at
    are complex and often difficult for most consumers to           getting heart disease. Are we heading towards a future
    grasp. Because the majority of them can’t see or feel the       where we will strategically place earth icons next to
    immediate good their purchases are delivering (i.e. like        the most eco-friendly options on every menu and price
    reducing greenhouse gas emissions), it’s hard to get them       list across every industry? Perhaps we can elicit our
    to switch from their favorite products to a sustainable         desired behavioral change by dumbing it down for the
    alternative (and we haven’t even mentioned price,               everyday consumer? You know, use those marketing
    quality, and availability).                                     tactics that have successfully driven awareness for



3    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                          www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil?

    other causes. How about an “earth icon” shampoo, cut,           One greenwashing controversy in particular has recently
    and style at the salon. Anyone?                                 surfaced its way on to countless environmental message
                                                                    boards on the Web. The instigator was an article earlier
    Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, all products will       this year by The Economist titled, “Diesels Are The Smart
    just be inherently sustainable so consumers won’t have          Green Choice.” The words that ignited the firestorm of
    to wrestle with or think about how and what they’re             differing opinions:
    purchasing. But for now unfortunately, it is what it is.
    So as we look to build sustainable new businesses, we           “The dirty little secret about hybrids is that their batteries
    not only need to create and inspire evangelists for             and extensive use of aluminum parts make them costly to
    whatever sustainable products were selling, but we              build in energy terms as well as financial terms. One
    also need to become brand evangelists for the bigger            life-cycle assessment claims that, from factory floor to
    icon - - the earth itself.                                      scrap heap, a Prius consumes more energy even than
                                                                    a Hummer H3.”
    Greenwashing: The Dirty Deceiving Little Secret
    With all the recent buzz surrounding the state of our           As you can imagine, the article generated spirited
    environment, and corporations wearing the bulls eye             blogger responses from both sides of the issue and
    for criticism, the more we hear the term greenwashing           surfaced a number of studies comparing the lifetime
    being thrown around. Greenwashing is a portmanteau              costs related to total energy consumption of hybrid vs.
    of the words green and whitewashing. Environmentalists          non-hybrid vehicles. To no surprise, most of the studies
    use it to describe the act of giving a positive public          had an agenda associated with them. The authors were
    image (a thin coat of green paint) to environmentally           free to manipulate the statistics in their favor and only
    unsound practices. Corporations of course claim they are        reveal the answers that their side wants to see. Shocking
    promoting sustainable development and communicating
    that they have become greener and more environmentally          Unfortunately, all of this greenwashing leads to mass
    responsible. Hey, if companies can sell more widgets by         skepticism with consumers. They don’t know what or
    painting them green, then we’re going to see more green         who to believe anymore. Are these new products like
    widgets in the market.                                          Hybrids really ‘difference making’ and better for the
                                                                    environment than a diesel vehicle? Or are these car
    The question is; Does green marketing contribute to             manufacturers just taking advantage of a white hot
    the greening of consumer consciousness, or does it              political or social opportunity to sell more cars?
    encourage corporate greenwashing? Well, probably a
    little of both. Examples of greenwashing can range              Let’s not forget that consumers have smart ad radar
    from a supermarket giving you the option of paper or            and a very low tolerance for bullshit. Google has quickly
    plastic to a big oil company funding studies to muddy           turned all of us into private investigators. The Internet
    the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global            has transformed us all into unregulated citizen
    climate change.




4    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                           © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                            www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Greenwashing: The Dirty Deceiving Little Secret

    journalists. The successful companies of tomorrow               stunt momentum and chastise someone for trying to be
    must become more transparent with their customer base           socially-constructive. Every little bit helps.
    by talking openly and honestly about their practices.
    The ones that do this best will win and the ones that           The fact is we are indeed living in a greenvenient society,
    continue to hide behind their giant logos and avoid the         where the majority of people will only do “the good
    hard questions will be exposed and ultimately rejected.         thing” if it’s made extra convenient for them. We need
                                                                    to recognize that a delicate balance exists between what
    Perfect Doesn’t Make Practice                                   is good for the environment and what is good for me.
    Make no mistake, the entire future of the sustainability        For example, if you were to take your wife’s Prius to
    movement depends on consumer behaviors being                    the spray wash and wanted to empty the trash from
    modified. Sure, corporations will hopefully continue            the inside of the car (which includes some empty plastic
    to invest huge dollars into making their products               water bottles), most of us would toss them in the trash
    more sustainable, but since consumer demand drives              can three feet from the car instead of taking them home
    corporations, the future of our planet rests heavily on         to our recycling bin. Why? Because it’s simply more
    the shoulders of Joe consumer. Yet even with numerous           convenient that way.
    burning issues facing our environment, only a small
    portion of Joes are willing to change their consumption         Now this is where it gets interesting, because an
    patterns and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.                environmentalist that lives by an ‘eco-idealist’ code
                                                                    would probably point out flaw after flaw in this example,
    One of the reasons may be in how we’ve talked about             from: 1) why are you going to a spray wash that wastes
    ‘social responsibility’ in the past. The term responsible       ridiculous amounts of water in the first place?; to 2)
    has a weird rub to it. If you’re positioning your brand         why is your wife consuming bottled water instead of
    as responsible does it also open it up to potential scrutiny    putting filtered water into a re-useable container?; to 3)
    about other aspects of your business? In addition, by           we’ll give you points for driving a Prius, but we’re going
    telling a consumer that they’ll be practicing social            to take away double points for your family also owning
    responsibility by consuming your product, you’re also           a gas-guzzling ’94 Chevy Suburban.
    in effect wagging your finger at them and telling that
    person they’re irresponsible when they don’t.                   When it comes down to it, the majority of us can easily
                                                                    be “out gooded” by a full-time “do gooder”, but what
    Here’s a thought. How about using the term                      benefit comes from making people feel guilty about the
    socially-constructive in lieu of socially-responsible?          way they live? In the long run it only hurts the cause.
    For starters, it’s more accessible and doesn’t conjure          It seems that no one is safe from criticism in this
    up thoughts of irresponsibility and negativity that are         complex web of purpose (just ask Al Gore who in light
    detrimental to the larger movement. The truth is, we            of everything he’s done to stimulate environmental
    sometimes just have to recognize when someone is                awareness was recently attacked for his hefty home
    trying to do some good and they will hopefully strive           electric bill in Tennessee). If the end goal is to make
    to get better each and every day. But please, let’s not         sustainable living something consumers will aspire



5    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                          www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Perfect Doesn’t Make Practice

    to and engage in on regular basis, we must stop                 benefits, it doesn’t necessarily need to be your lead
    preaching full-time perfection and begin applauding             communication strategy.
    part-time cooperation.
                                                                    To no surprise, one brand often cited for mainstream
    Following Can Lead To Forgetting                                consumer crossover success, is biodegradable cleaning
    While the growing and greening marketplace has                  brand Method. Ranking No. 7 on Inc. Magazines 2006
    attracted throngs of new, passionate consumers, it has          list of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in
    also motivated a different kind of following – copycat          the country, Method boasts an astounding three-year
    and unimaginative brand marketers. Before businesses            growth rate of 3,390.5%. Their talented team took a
    can expect consumers to reach into their wallets and sign       commodity household cleaner and built a unifying brand
    up for the next “it” product, they must first breakthrough      idea that extends through their products, their packaging
    the unbelievable ‘green noise’ and visual clutter that          design, their promotional materials, their corporate
    exists in the space.                                            values, all the way down to their brilliant tagline,
                                                                    “People Against Dirty”. And they’ve done all of this
    It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to market a sports           while remaining very price competitive with the other
    drink or a sports bra, all brands will have to bring some       leading household brands.
    much-needed innovation to the table when establishing
    the look, tone, and feel for their products. Hint: the          What Method did was smart. Instead of focusing
    shelves at the store don’t need any more eco-friendly           solely on the rational benefit of being environmentally
    brands using an expected leaf icon, an unmemorable              responsible (eco-brand quicksand), they used sharp
    tagline, and an earth-toned color palette. Your product         branding and marketing fundamentals to stir up the
    may be remarkable on the inside, but if you don’t have          emotions of the mainstream consumer (btw: one of
    what it takes to excite and motivate consumers on the           their founders was an ex ad agency guy). If you pick up
    outside, your brand may soon be paving its own path             a bottle of their all-purpose cleaner, the only purposeful
    to extinction.                                                  call-out on the label is the word biodegradable in 8 point
                                                                    type. Sure, there are a lot of prominent brands in this
    Just as it is with other industries, the brands that create     space that have gotten “it”. Whole Foods, The Body Shop,
    a unique visual brand identity and voice wind up                and Patagonia come to mind. But who will develop the
    generating the most buzz, capture the most eyeballs,            winning companies of tomorrow’s more purposeful
    and generate the most cash register rings. With more and        marketplace?
    more eco-friendly products entering the mix, consumers
    are quickly becoming immune from all of the me too,             Let’s see, will it be those ‘green-only’ lifestyle zealots
    environmentally-responsible messaging. They’ve also             or those sharp minds that have played in the dirt on
    become aware of this new type of eco-poser brand that           the other side of the fence and successfully built and
    slyly tries to masquerade for something they are not –          launched high-profile lifestyle brands in other industries?
    purposeful (remember greenwashing?). While it’s critical        The choice is simple really. If our world is to ever make
    to make your consumer aware of your sustainable                 significant progress with the adoption of new,



6    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Following Can Lead To Forgetting                          NORTH Mindmeld
    remarkable eco-friendly products and services, we                 At North, we’ve been eavesdropping on the purposesful
    need to take a page from the Methods of the world.                consumer and bigger sustainable business movement for years.
    In order for new sustainable companies to succeed we              While it’s taken a while for these new ideas to penetrate the
    must creatively sell environmental benefits by calling            mainstream mindset, the non-listeners from the past are
    on those that have already memorized the playbook for             now at least open-minded to hearing about the future.
    tapping into consumer emotion and inspiring widespread
    adoption; whether that’s been for a cleaning product,             In this section, we highlight a few emerging companies and
    a designer sneaker company, an imported beer, or a                inspirational entrepreneurs that are bringing much-needed
    four-wheel drive vehicle.                                         innovation to the market. What we like about some of the
                                                                      following ideas is that they show us just how wide-open the
                                                                      possibilities are in the purposesful space. Instead of following
    Keys To Making The Perfect Play                                   the map of those that came before them, these brands instead
    Using Fame To Change The Game                                     have set out to sail in uncharted waters.
    These days, whether you’re scanning the rows of
    magazine covers at the grocery checkout or channel
    surfing on the tube, it’s pretty hard to avoid imagery of        Reward Them And They May Respond
    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt holding one of their adopted         Here’s a thought, would people pay more attention to that
    children. When Newsweek recently asked Angelina about             all-too-familiar piece of POS hanging in their hotel bathroom if
    her not-so-low-profile humanitarian aid efforts and               we gave them a decent discount on their over-priced 4-star room
    countless visits to refugee camps, she responded, “If I           for saving both the hotel and the earth’s expensive resources?
    can draw you in a little because I'm familiar, then that's        You know the message: “We are doing our part to preserve the
    great. Because I know that at the end you're not looking          environment and invite you to help us conserve water by using
    at me, you're looking at them."                                   your towels more than once. Doing so will also reduce the
                                                                      amount of detergent waste that is recycled in our community.
    Funny, but she sounds remarkably similar to Paul                  Please hang your towels up if you wish to participate in this
    Newman, one of Hollywood’s first conscience celebrities           water conservation program... if you choose not to participate,
    and one of the more famous social entrepreneurs on the            simply leave your towels on the floor.”
    planet. When Newman was asked to describe what he
    was doing with his line of Newman’s Own products,                 Don’t you wish we lived in a proactive society, where consumers
    “shameless exploitation in pursuit of the common                  didn’t need incentive beyond “because it’s the right thing to do”
    good”, he replied. Newman was definitely ahead of his             in order to choose one thing over another? Well, we can all keep
    time and remains an inspiration and role-model today.             dreaming for that day to magically appear, or we can set out to
    Over the last 23 years, the pioneering Newman has                 do what some new, purposeful start ups are doing and offering
    donated over $150 million in profits for educational              up some nice value-adds in order to stimulate change and
    and charitable purposes.                                          connect with more of a mainstream consumer.




7    How
     Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Using Fame To Change The Game                              Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond

    Celebrities and entertainers have always been closely             As much as the word ‘recycling’ surrounds us in our everyday
    tied with various causes; whether they’re strumming               lives, the participation rates remain relatively modest (in the
    guitars for world hunger or telling jokes to raise money          30-33% range nationwide). So the question remains, why don’t
    for Katrina victims (more on using entertainment to               more people recycle? RecycleBank, which just launched in
    enlighten later). These days it seems more and more               Philadelphia, may be on to something - actually rewarding
    celebrities are becoming more known for “for what                 people for throwing waste in the right receptacle. The more your
    they’re passionate about” and less known for “who                 household recycles, the more it earns (up to $35 RecycleBank
    they’re dating”.                                                  Dollars a month). All RecycleBank dollars can be redeemed at
                                                                      one of 100 national and local participating retailers (the likes of
    Take this year’s Academy Awards. Even when the usual                                                 Starbucks, Petco, and Whole
    suspects used their airtime to push environmental                                                    Foods have already jumped
    awareness (Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney,                                               aboard). So far so good, as
    Melissa Etheridge), it actually didn’t come off as making                                            recycling rates in one Philly
    a forced statement (like a Susan Sarandon moment did).                                               neighborhood have already
    It seems the passionate pleas from this years Oscar’s were                                           jumped from 30% to 90%.
    delivered in a much more approachable manner and that                                                (recyclebank.com)
    always makes it easier to digest. Also, the show went
    green behind the scenes; they used recycled paper, did
    an energy audit for the Kodak Theater, and even served            How about paying $20 for a magazine subscription and in turn
    organic food at the Governor’s Ball.                              having that same twenty bucks then go to the charity of your
                                                                      choice? That’s precisely the offer behind Good Magazine, one
    Hey, whether it’s Scarlett Johansson filling up her Prius         of the latest page flippers aiming to champion change. Good,
    hatchback with organic food and beauty products,                  which gives you the choice of selecting between 12 different
    Maggie Gyllenhaal announcing she’s using organic                  causes (from Millennium Promise to Creative Commons to World
    cloth diapers on her new baby girl, Oprah touting the             Wildlife Fund) is the brainchild of its Founder Ben Goldhirsh.
    benefits of energy saving light bulbs on her show, or             Not sure if giving away 100% of your profits is a sustainable
    Entourage star Adrian Grenier badging the fact that                                                  revenue model for a media
    he’s using recycled denim to insulate the walls of his                                               company (which also includes
    Brooklyn home; there’s no denying the power and                                                      a film division called Reason
    influence celebrities wield in generating and spreading                                              Pictures), but it’s certainly a
    purposeful change.                                                                                   transformative idea. When
                                                                                                         asked whom his magazine is
    Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame and his company                                                      for, the ambitious Goldhirsh
    Weapons of Mass Entertainment has just teamed up                                                     responds, “We’re selling this to
    with Greenpeace on an initiative which is focused on                                                 people who we think give a
    dreaming up new ways to mix media, art and celebrity                                                 damn.” (goodmagazine.com)
    with social activism. "If you can imagine Andy Warhol's
    Factory with Greenpeace in it and me in it," Stewart told


8    How
     Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Using Fame To Change The Game                              Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond

    Reuters. “It is a hot house, a think tank." Sounds lofty,         It would sure seem like a tall order to play in the same
    not sure if it will be produce any number one hits, but           purposesful sandbox as upscale, active wear brand Patagonia
    let’s give it a chance to lift off before we pop its balloon.     (Pata-gucci for those of you in-the-know), but don’t tell that to
    For even more dish on how celebrities are using their             Portland-based, active wear newbie Nau. Like the walk and talk
    fame to change the game, check out the eco-celebrity              Patagonia and its inspirational CEO Yvon Chouinard have been
    gossip blog ecorazzi.com.                                         delivering for years, Nau is also blending beauty, performance,
                                                                      and sustainability into all of its products (all are made of recycled
    With all of the celebrities jumping into the game, will           material and recyclable themselves). In hopes of luring more
    there be some less-than-genuine cause opportunists out            consumers into its new retail home, Nau will offer up 10%
    there? Of course there are, but Ed Begley Jr., one of the         discount to those customers that place their orders from in-store
    founding fathers of green in Tinseltown, sums it up best          kiosks. The in-store Web kiosks are meant to reduce each store’s
    when half-joking about Hollywood’s involvement in the             ecological footprint, operating costs, and energy consumption.
    movement towards a sustainable future, "there are some            (nau.com)
    insincere people in this community who may have
    latched onto the environment because Africa was already
    taken, but,” he says, “even if you're only into this cause
    for a week, at least you're doing something positive for
    that week."

    The truth is things need to change and if the folks
    living under the Hollywood sign want to use their
    visibility and money to create a more sustainable future,
    let’s applaud them. And maybe just maybe, they’ll stop
    backing purposeless ventures or theme restaurants like
    the Fashion Café and Planet Hollywood. Planet
    Hollywood wasn’t a bad thought, it was just that the
    concept had the wrong intentions. Why not really make
    it about the planet, Hollywood? Just imagine a                    While issues surrounding the planet and those in need are
    state-of-the-art restaurant that was 100% sustainable,            sometimes tough to make accessible at the retail level, a
    that served organic, locally-grown food, donated 100%             30-year-old entrepreneur by the name of Blake Mycoskie figured
    of their profits to renewable energy research, and instead        it out by keeping it simple. If you buy a pair of his Toms Shoes at
    of decorating the menus and walls with movie posters              around $40/pair, Toms will also gift a pair to a deserving
    and props, instead used that real estate to educate               youngster in an impoverished country. Mycoskie, who got the
    consumers on the state of our planet and encouraged               idea for Toms (which btw stands for Shoes for Tomorrow), while
    them to give a damn. Now that’s a concept worth                   traveling in Argentina, always thought he’d spend the first half
    backing Arnie!                                                    of his life making money and the second half of his life giving it
                                                                      away. With Toms he’s exceeded his expectations, as he stumbled
                                                                      upon an idea that is as equally purposesful as it is profitable.


9    How
     Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Old Dogs Trying New Tricks                                        Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond

     One way in which many established brands have been                And the message of the brand seems to be working, Mycoskie has
     dipping their feet in to the new purposeful pond, is by           just bagged distribution deals at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and
     making modifications to their existing products. Instead          Bloomingdale’s, and plans to begin selling in Australia, Japan,
     of completely re-structuring or re-positioning their entire       and Western Europe this summer. (tomsshoes.com)
     company as sustainable overnight (next to impossible),
     many well-known heavy hitters have recently made
     some big strides when it comes to speaking to the more
     purposeful consumer.

     Timberland, which has routinely been ahead of their
     competition in practicing corporate responsibility, just
     updated the labeling on its footwear boxes to trumpet
     their environmental responsibility in a fresh, engaging
     manner. Packaging, which is often an overlooked
     communication vehicle, can open up a number of
     excellent branding opportunities. By taking the lead
     from the CPG industry, they transformed the traditional
     nutritional label into a communication that gives
     consumers information about the shoes they are                    These brands are at least trying to break through by taking a
     purchasing; from where it was manufactured, to how it             different approach, but are we really on the cusp of trading out
     was produced, to its overall impact on the environment,           our mileage cards for carrying around purposesful shopping
     which includes the amount of energy they used from                cards? (interraproject.org) Who knows, but if some of
     renewable resources.                                              these incentive efforts are able to speak more effectively to the
                                                                       mainstream, the “reward loyalty” idea of those cards can’t be
     “From the inside out, our new packaging tells the story           far behind. Oh, and one last thought. Before you hospitality
     of who we are as a brand and conveys our commitment               marketers out there go running with the idea mentioned at the
     to make it better,” explained Tracy Stokes, Timberland’s          top of this section, you may want to spend some additional
     Senior Director of Global Brand Management. “The goal                                                hours educating your
     is to reduce Timberland's environmental impact while                                                 housekeeping staff on your
     providing consumers with new information to help                                                     towel program. Because it
     guide them in the purchase process, while at the same                                                seems every time you try to
     time, inspiring them to make their own positive impact,"                                             do the “right thing’ by not
     she added.                                                                                           throwing your towel on the
                                                                                                          floor, they replace your used,
     Another noteworthy example of a big brand weaving                                                    hung up towel with a fresh
     responsibility into their product offering is giant UK                                               one anyway.
     retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S). “Customers want good
     value, but they care more than ever how food and


10    How
      Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Old Dogs Trying New Tricks                                Change Agents Of Tomorrow
     clothing products are made,” says M&S Chief Exec Stuart           Sure the food, beverage, personal care, and clothing markets have
     Rose. Well, by simply listening to their customer, M&S            made some of the biggest splashes (organic, nontoxic, free-range,
     has achieved some good. They recently launched their              fairtrade, etc.) in the sustainable product space, but there have
     Look Behind The Label program, which does a nice job              also been some game-changing entrepreneurial efforts using new
     of educating shoppers about its Fairtrade food and                angles that have been popping up more frequently.
     clothing products.
                                                                       Okay, so you’re flying into LA for a three-day weekend and need
     Whether it’s Nike creating less waste and using less              to line up a rent-a-car. Who do you call? Hertz? Budget? Avis?
     energy to manufacture their Considered line of shoes              Why not try EV Rentals, the first U.S. rental car company whose
     or Levi’s selling an eco line of jeans using 100% organic         entire fleet consists of hybrids. Rentals run from $39/day to
     cotton (they also include recycled buttons, rivets and            $215/week. If you’re not sold, what if we told you that hybrid
     zippers), we need to encourage these efforts of bringing          vehicles qualify for the carpool lane on those crowded California
     responsibility to retail. Brands like Timberland, M&S,            freeways, even when you’re the only one in the car. Airport
     Nike, and Levi’s have huge followings and other brands            locations include; LAX, Orange County, San Diego, San
     (big and small) should follow their leads. However, the           Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
     passionate must remain patient. We can’t make “all or
     nothing” demands on these large companies. We must
     hail these transparent efforts and recognize their
     importance in inspiring consumers, other brands, and
     entrepreneurs to shift their current thought processes.

     Championing Change From Within
     It used to be that brands would promote socially-
     constructive or environmentally-friendly efforts within
     their human resources department with the sole purpose            EV Rental's mission is “to provide the most technologically
     of making an impression on current or prospective                 advanced environmental vehicles to the general public as soon as
     employees. However, now those efforts are more and                they are available, to educate the public and raise the awareness
     more frequently aimed at gaining the support of                   of the benefits of driving clean-fuel cars, and create a market for
     environmentalist groups and for rubbing off on                    clean car technology". The company claims to have prevented
     their discriminating customers.                                   more than 100 tons of air pollution and to have passed on more
                                                                       than one million dollars in fuel cost savings to its customers.
     Several big corporations and their highly visible leaders         Now why hasn’t this gone worldwide yet? We think it’s only a
     after being pushed towards more sustainable practices by          matter of time. (evrentals.com)
     various activists for years, are now becoming role models
     for change. One would never think of mentioning                   Anyone that leads with a headline that reads, “Changing The
     Wal-Mart in the same breath with the Whole Foods of               World One Story At A Time”, must be prepared to back it up.
     the world, but to their credit the Bentonville behemoth           Participant Productions Founder Jeff Skoll (former president
     has made significant steps to evangelize purpose from             and employee #1 at online powerhouse eBay) has backed up


11    How
      Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Championing Change From Within                             Cont’d Change Agents Of Tomorrow

     within. They’ve been working with Conservation                    that statement and then some since assembling an all-star team
     International to help shape ambitious goals for slicing           of entertainment executives back in 2004. Together his team has
     and dicing their total energy consumption. Wal-Mart,                                              built an environment to ‘foster
     which is the largest private purchaser of electricity in                                          storytelling that engages the
     the U.S., has put forth an aggressive plan to reduce                                              audience, generates awareness
     energy demands in all of its facilities by 30% in the                                             of topical and interesting issues
     next ten years.                                                                                   and inspires individuals to
                                                                                                       take action.’
     Speaking of Whole Foods, they’ve just become the
     biggest corporate user of wind power in the country.
     They inked a two-year contract with Renewable Choice              Even if you’re not familiar with Participant as a brand name,
     Energy to purchase 458,000 megawatt-hours of wind                 you’ve surely heard of some of the titles coming out of their
     energy credits. That’s enough to cover energy use for             offices in the last three years: Fast Food Nation, Murderball,
     all of its stores, bakeries, distribution centers, regional       Syriana, And Good Night, And Good Luck, as well as last year’s
     offices, and corporate headquarters in Austin. This effort        global warming eye-opener, An Inconvenient Truth. As we know,
     has also led to a consumer-facing promotional partnership,        films have the power to move and amass quite a following. With
     where customers can purchase $15 wind power cards                 that big of an audience in tow, we look forward to Participant
     (basically renewable energy credits) right along with their       launching even more brand initiatives aimed around inspiring
     yoga mag and Burt’s Bees lip balm at check out.                   consumer action. (participantproductions.com)

     “Right now, the main benefit is public relations," said           Lastly, we have to mention this category-shifting, entrepreneurial
     Andrew Aulisi, Senior Associate at the nonprofit World            idea coming out of the Netherlands. Enviu, an international non-
     Resources Institute. “For a company like Whole Foods,             profit organization for young entrepreneurs, is working together
     which has a particular kind of clientele, I can imagine           with an architectural firm to create a truly Sustainable Dance
     this is an important way they relate to their customers."         Club. At the core of the idea is an energy-generating dance floor
                                                                       that will offset the club’s energy consumption. In addition, the
     On the technology front, both Nokia and Dell are leading          toilets will flush with rainwater, the walls will change color as
     the way for doing away with toxic chemicals and have              reaction to temperature changes, and they’ll have a rooftop garden.
     set measures for eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
     and other harmful substances from their current and
     future product lines. And companies like Clif Bar and
     Google are offering their employees $5,000 towards the
     purchase of a hybrid. Clif Bar is even offering $2,500
     toward the lease of a vehicle that obtains a partial zero
     emissions vehicle emissions rating of at least 45 mpg.            If you were having trouble thinking outside the expected box and
     You can read about more future-looking companies                  making sustainability attractive and cost-effective, you may just
     participation in these types of vehicle programs at               want to order a glass of what they’re drinking over in
     hybridcenter.org.                                                 Rotterdam. This is cool. (sustainabledanceclub.com)


12    How
      Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                         © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Cont’d Championing Change From Within

     Want to talk about other organizations with loyal               Case, on the other hand is looking to revolutionize the
     followings, even religious groups have joined the               health and wellness industry by trading out his familiar
     ecological movement. The national organization                  “you’ve got mail” days for the more empowering “you’re
     Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is now             in control” rallying cry. RevolutionHealth.com, using the
     sponsoring a drive to install efficient compact-florescent      collective “social wisdom” of its users, offers more than
     light bulbs. No Joke here, their pitch: “How Many Jews          125 free tools and online services that help people live
     Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?” Mazal Tov!                healthier – from losing weight to determining what an
                                                                     ailment might be to tracking one’s overall health
     In addition, we would be doing this section a disservice        progress.
     if we didn’t mention the likes of Buffet, Gates, Branson,
     Case, and Doerr when talking about charismatic leaders          “RevolutionHealth.com is not just another health site –
     championing change by donning the hat of a Cause                we are working to build the online destination where
     Capitalist. While all these men are well-known and              you can ‘take action’ to improve your health or your
     respected for devoting a large chunk of their time and          family’s health. It’s time to use the power of the Internet
     money to philanthropic causes, they’ve recently stepped         to reform health care with a ‘people-powered’ approach
     up their efforts to bring an even greater sense of urgency      to health - giving parents, patients, and caregivers all
     to the purposeful movement.                                     the tools they need to manage their health care needs
                                                                     and live healthier lives,” said Case.
     Branson, who also heads up Virgin Unite (virginunite.com),
     Virgin's independent charitable arm designed to drive           The encouraging signs coming out of all of this,
     entrepreneurial approaches to social and environmental          it seems as if the corporate world, entrepreneurs,
     issues, says that he’ll contribute an estimated $3 billion in   and environmentalists are now teaming up to work
     personal profits over the next 10 years to develop energy       constructively together. Everyone’s coming around
     sources that do not contribute to global warming.               to the idea that business has the innovation chops
     “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful           and entrepreneurial flair to solve problems in ways
     world from our parents and they from their parents,”            that government regulation will never match. The more
     said the maverick entrepreneur. “It is in our hands             these companies, investors, and business leaders tackle
     whether our children and their children inherit the same        issues like sustainability and health care, the more
     world. We must not be the generation responsible for            benefit they will ultimately see from a customer
     irreversibly damaging the environment.”                         relation’s perspective, from profit potential, and
                                                                     from moving that purposeful needle.
     In addition, Branson announced earlier in the year that
     he’s offering a $25 million prize for scientists who find       However, we must be realistic. These issues are not
     a way to help save the planet from the effects of climate       going to be solved, cured, or reversed by a handful of
     change by removing at least a billion tons of carbon            thoughtful billionaires. It’s going to take our collective
     dioxide a year from the Earth's atmosphere.                     thinking and effort to right this (mother) ship.




13    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                           © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                             www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Enlighten With Entertainment
     Let’s see, first there was Live Aid in 1985, which             time they’re only focused on the entertainment –
     opened the world’s eyes to the famine issues in Africa,        right message, wrong time).
     then Willie Nelson and John Cougar Mellencamp
     organized Farm Aid to raise awareness and money for            Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson has inspired a slew of
     family farmers. Comic Relief, A Tribute To Heroes benefit      artists from the Dixie Chicks to Pearl Jam to Cold Play
     after the attacks on 9/11, the benefit for Hurricane           as well as music festivals like Bonnaroo to begin putting
     Katrina victims, Live 8, the list goes on and on.              on more eco-friendly shows. Johnson who put on one
                                                                    of the first carbon-neutral tours, teamed up with other
     Whatever the issue, artists and entertainers have a            businesses to donate a portion of his tour sales to
     long history of putting on benefit concerts or charitable      environmental causes, as he teamed up with the
     events for causes that matter to them. By joining forces       organization 1% For The Planet. The tour also ran all
     with other like-minded entertainers, these events have         of their buses and trucks on bio-diesel fuel. Now more
     always been a powerful tool for drawing attention to an        and more artists seem to be joining the movement to
     immediate humanitarian crisis and generating massive           reduce their carbon footprint and bring attention to
     awareness for a specific cause.                                the bigger issue of climate change.

     While many of these efforts seem to garner a lot of            This summer, all eyes (and ears) will be on Live Earth –
     media hype, attract A-list talents, and raise significant      The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis. This revolutionary
     funds, are they mere causal marketing “one-offs” that          effort hopes to inspire two billion sets of eyeballs with its
     consumers buy, listen, and discard or are they powerful        motivating message. Live Earth, which takes center stage
     vehicles for establishing a commitment to long-term            on 7/7/07, will feature seven separate concerts on all
     change? There’s no question that entertainers and              seven continents (not sure who’s getting the Antarctica
     musicians have passionate and loyal followings and can         gig) and is being spearheaded by The Alliance For
     attract huge crowds, but it seems that in order to inspire     Climate Protection and you guessed it, its chair and
     massive change, it will clearly take bringing more             former veep, Al Gore.
     innovation and new thinking to the plug and play
     “concert for a cause” formula.                                 "We have to get the message of urgency and hope out,"
                                                                    Gore expressed. "In order to solve the climate crisis, we
     In recent years, there have been a few new spins on            have to reach billions of people. The climate crisis will
     the old concept. Boost Mobile RockCorps is concept             only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained
     that makes the consumer do their part before the actual        global movement."
     concert. In order to get a ticket to the show, you must
     first put in at least four hours of volunteering in your       The artists themselves (over 100 committed at the time of
     community. This is a great way to generate awareness           this writing), are also psyched up for the worldwide event
     and ignite consumer involvement prior to the main              being produced by Control Room (same crew responsible
     event, rather than just handing the concert goer some          for bringing the world Live 8 on AOL). Tom Chaplin, lead
     educational literature once they’re in the gate (by that       singer of the band Keane was the first to sign up to



14   Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                           www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
Enlighten With Entertainment                                    9 Rules To Live By
     participate. “This is something we feel very strongly           1. Innovate Your Approach.
     about so we want to help get this message to as many            From what you’re offering to how you’re selling it, to
     people as possible. The idea of these concerts is to            where you’re saying it. Hey, if you’re number one tactic
     create a tipping-point, a trigger to start a whole new          for creating mainstream awareness and action in this
     way of thinking about our relationship with the world,”         space is sending street teams out to organic grocery
     said Chaplin.                                                   stores with clip boards and free t-shirts, please go back
                                                                     to the whiteboard and push yourself to innovate.
     Here’s to tipping, triggering AND transforming…
                                                                     2. Feed The Early Birds.
                                                                     We’ve talked a lot about how to the target the
     Making Purpose A Natural Reflex                                 mainstream consumer, but don’t forget to the use the
                                                                     influential circles of your early adopters (including
     Wikipedia describes a reflex action or reflex as a
                                                                     appropriate celebs). Where and when appropriate, these
     biological control system linking stimulus to response.
                                                                     tastemakers still have huge pull and can be extremely
     Reflexes can be built-in or learned. They define a
                                                                     beneficial in changing the consumption behaviors of
     conditioned reflex as involving the modification of
                                                                     the bigger flock.
     a reflex action in response to experience (learning).
     A stimulus that produces a simple reflex response
                                                                     3. Quit Hatin’.
     becomes linked with another, possibly unrelated,
                                                                     We can’t express this enough. Stop attacking people that
     stimulus. For example, a dog may salivate (a reflex
                                                                     are a lighter shade of green than you. Consumers don’t
     action) when it sees its owner remove a can-opener
                                                                     respond well to criticism. Quit preaching and expecting
     from a drawer because it has learned to associate that
                                                                     perfection. Highlight the good they have the ability to
     stimulus with the stimulus of being fed.
                                                                     make, not the bad they will cause by not participating.
     Okay, where are we going? In order to make purposeful
                                                                     4. Exercise Patience.
     consumption a natural consumer reflex, we must first
                                                                     This is a courtship, not a one-night stand. First, get them
     put out the necessary stimulus in bulk (accessible
                                                                     to be more comfortable with the process of thinking
     products and approachable messaging). Changing hearts,
                                                                     constructively about their shopping choices. Sure, we’d
     minds, and consumer behavior is no easy to task.
                                                                     like to make it Earth Day everyday, but this is going to
     Communicating a sense of urgency at the same time
                                                                     take some time to sink in.
     is even harder. In order to make the mainstream herd
     care enough to alter their lifestyle, the entrepreneurs
     and marketers of tomorrow must not rely on others to
     do the heavy lifting. If we all unite and use our minds,
     products, money, and messaging to awaken and
     stimulate consumer consciousness, we can begin to
     create that natural reflex; and shift the scales in the
     planet’s favor at the same time.



15    Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.                          © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC
                                                                                                            www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
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Mainstreaming Green: The 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer.

  • 1. Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. Get ready people, it’s now hip (again) to care. But even with all the hype, there are a number of What took so long right? Thanks to more concerned challenges and obstacles brands face when trying to consumers, a dash of post-Katrina pondering, rising sell purpose or ‘social responsibility’ to a mainstream prices at the pump, dependence on coal and foreign consumer. And in order for positive social change to oil, Al Gore and the environment playing a leading occur on a massive scale, corporations, entrepreneurs, role at the Academy Awards, and an onslaught of and marketers alike will need to become better new product offerings; purpose-related products educated and more aware of why these current and and services have quickly beamed their way up on prospective conscience consumers choose, buy, use, the consumer’s radar. and even dispose of purposeful products. You see, before we can build companies, brands, and products that inspire a better tomorrow, we must first take a closer look at what has and hasn’t worked up to now. 1 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 2. Fringe Freak To Eco Chic You may have seen the term LOHAS float across your Wal-Marts of the world pushing ‘organic’ is a great step desk in recent years (it stands for Lifestyles of Health forward, but in order for large-scale change to happen, and Sustainability). LOHAS consumers are those who socially-constructive companies must refine the way we are passionate about the environment, sustainability, approach ALL consumers when selling purpose. You see, social issues, and health, and they typically make we’re not just talking to those affluent, European sport conscious purchasing decisions based on their social wagon consumers at the upscale mall, but we’re now and cultural values. Or as David Brotherton, a Seattle also chatting directly with those consumers filling up consultant in corporate responsibility describes, “The their mini-vans at the local Costco. people who used to drive the VW bus to the co-op are now driving the Volvo to Whole Foods.” So now’s the time for the difference-making entrepreneurs and brands of tomorrow to begin Over the years, we’ve given all kinds of names (some innovating and dialing in their brand voice. They more flattering than others) to the more purpose-driven must stop trying to only create for and sell to a market consumer: tree huggers, hippies, bohemians, cultural that mirrors themselves, as now a larger makeup of creatives, latte activists, conscience consumers, consumers are also thirsty for change. However, before crunchies, deep greens, cause consumers, eco-warriors, we can inspire them to make purposeful buying environmentalists, new progressives, and now Lohasians. decisions, we must first employ the same core marketing Whatever the clever name or acronym du jour may fundamentals that the great lifestyle brands of today be, businesses large and small are now paying closer have used when motivating large audiences. You to attention to this rapidly growing market, as this know, create that aspirational magnet and leave that passionate and influential audience now makes up a mirror behind. $228.9 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services, that include, but are not limited to: Hurdles To Mass Adoption • Renewable and Alternative Energies E For Effort, N For No Thanks • Natural and Organic Products and Services Businesses have been actively participating in the • Health and Wellness purposeful (or green) space for years. While there have • Eco-Tourism and Alternative Transportation been many products with great intentions and even the • Green and Sustainable Building occasional breakthrough success, there have also been a • Clean Technologies string of bombs that have ultimately fueled widespread • Organic and Recyclable Fashion consumer reluctance to give new, more purposeful • Socially-Responsible Goods & Services products a spin. Or in some cases, an unwillingness to even let them improve over time. And while $228.9 billion dollars seems remarkable and is proof that this consumer psychographic has moved Who could forget all of those recycled paper products away from their fringe status of the past, there’s still a before Seventh Generation hit their stride? Let’s see lot of work left to be done if the end goal is healthy Charmin or sandpaper? Umm. How about those clunky social growth, not just bottom line income. Having the fluorescent bulbs that flickered and flickered until they 2 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 3. Cont’d E For Effort, N For No Thanks eventually put out the same level of brightness as a night So while the sustainability issues we face on this light (Fortunately, things have vastly improved here. If planet are extremely pressing, they still remain incredibly you haven’t already, switch over to the ice-cream-swirl futuristic to the mainstream consumer. Largely in part CFLs, they’re the real deal.). Or did you or any of your because of the, “if it’s so important, why haven’t I friends try out some of those unflattering organic fashion noticed anything yet” attitude. It probably comes as little wearables circa 1992? Not exactly runway ready. surprise that the products that have made the biggest strides thus far are those in which consumers can reap an Okay, we could go on and on here, but the point is, immediate benefit; whether that’s better gas mileage with the product examples above unfortunately stunted the a hybrid vehicle or a reduced electric bill because of consumer’s desire to go sustainable. They left a bad taste making the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. in the shopper’s mouth, and as you know, once you get However, there are thousands of other remarkable, food poisoning, it makes it awfully hard to try that same eco-friendly product offerings on the shelf, it’s just that dish again. But things have turned the corner in recent their effects cannot be felt or noticed so instantaneously. years, as the products have dramatically improved in functionality, quality, and style. And now that we have So how do we sell futuristic benefits? Perhaps we should some inventory with mainstream appeal, how do we take a look ‘outside of category’ for inspiration on how make the consumer feel firsthand the eco-benefit the to effectively communicate to the masses. Take the diet product provides? industry for example. Do you think if we spent 1/10th of the time we spend marketing diets and nutritional See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil? supplements aimed at reducing our consumption of fatty One of the key drivers of changing consumer behavior foods as we did with reducing the consumption of our has always been making the product or service connect precious resources (oil, coal, water), could we make more on an emotional level. Make it personal. Make it meaningful progress? Or will it take even higher gasoline relatable. You know, talk with your consumer, not prices, more rising temperatures, more droughts, and at them. A giant obstacle purposeful brands need to more frequent black outs before the green category overcome is their inability to connect with a mainstream becomes more personal and more relatable? audience that simply cannot see, feel, or even imagine the benefits that sustainable products deliver. Remember the heart smart icon that slowly found its way onto every chain restaurant menu? You know There’s no denying issues such as Global Warming the one, order this dish and it will reduce your risk at are complex and often difficult for most consumers to getting heart disease. Are we heading towards a future grasp. Because the majority of them can’t see or feel the where we will strategically place earth icons next to immediate good their purchases are delivering (i.e. like the most eco-friendly options on every menu and price reducing greenhouse gas emissions), it’s hard to get them list across every industry? Perhaps we can elicit our to switch from their favorite products to a sustainable desired behavioral change by dumbing it down for the alternative (and we haven’t even mentioned price, everyday consumer? You know, use those marketing quality, and availability). tactics that have successfully driven awareness for 3 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 4. Cont’d See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil? other causes. How about an “earth icon” shampoo, cut, One greenwashing controversy in particular has recently and style at the salon. Anyone? surfaced its way on to countless environmental message boards on the Web. The instigator was an article earlier Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, all products will this year by The Economist titled, “Diesels Are The Smart just be inherently sustainable so consumers won’t have Green Choice.” The words that ignited the firestorm of to wrestle with or think about how and what they’re differing opinions: purchasing. But for now unfortunately, it is what it is. So as we look to build sustainable new businesses, we “The dirty little secret about hybrids is that their batteries not only need to create and inspire evangelists for and extensive use of aluminum parts make them costly to whatever sustainable products were selling, but we build in energy terms as well as financial terms. One also need to become brand evangelists for the bigger life-cycle assessment claims that, from factory floor to icon - - the earth itself. scrap heap, a Prius consumes more energy even than a Hummer H3.” Greenwashing: The Dirty Deceiving Little Secret With all the recent buzz surrounding the state of our As you can imagine, the article generated spirited environment, and corporations wearing the bulls eye blogger responses from both sides of the issue and for criticism, the more we hear the term greenwashing surfaced a number of studies comparing the lifetime being thrown around. Greenwashing is a portmanteau costs related to total energy consumption of hybrid vs. of the words green and whitewashing. Environmentalists non-hybrid vehicles. To no surprise, most of the studies use it to describe the act of giving a positive public had an agenda associated with them. The authors were image (a thin coat of green paint) to environmentally free to manipulate the statistics in their favor and only unsound practices. Corporations of course claim they are reveal the answers that their side wants to see. Shocking promoting sustainable development and communicating that they have become greener and more environmentally Unfortunately, all of this greenwashing leads to mass responsible. Hey, if companies can sell more widgets by skepticism with consumers. They don’t know what or painting them green, then we’re going to see more green who to believe anymore. Are these new products like widgets in the market. Hybrids really ‘difference making’ and better for the environment than a diesel vehicle? Or are these car The question is; Does green marketing contribute to manufacturers just taking advantage of a white hot the greening of consumer consciousness, or does it political or social opportunity to sell more cars? encourage corporate greenwashing? Well, probably a little of both. Examples of greenwashing can range Let’s not forget that consumers have smart ad radar from a supermarket giving you the option of paper or and a very low tolerance for bullshit. Google has quickly plastic to a big oil company funding studies to muddy turned all of us into private investigators. The Internet the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global has transformed us all into unregulated citizen climate change. 4 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 5. Cont’d Greenwashing: The Dirty Deceiving Little Secret journalists. The successful companies of tomorrow stunt momentum and chastise someone for trying to be must become more transparent with their customer base socially-constructive. Every little bit helps. by talking openly and honestly about their practices. The ones that do this best will win and the ones that The fact is we are indeed living in a greenvenient society, continue to hide behind their giant logos and avoid the where the majority of people will only do “the good hard questions will be exposed and ultimately rejected. thing” if it’s made extra convenient for them. We need to recognize that a delicate balance exists between what Perfect Doesn’t Make Practice is good for the environment and what is good for me. Make no mistake, the entire future of the sustainability For example, if you were to take your wife’s Prius to movement depends on consumer behaviors being the spray wash and wanted to empty the trash from modified. Sure, corporations will hopefully continue the inside of the car (which includes some empty plastic to invest huge dollars into making their products water bottles), most of us would toss them in the trash more sustainable, but since consumer demand drives can three feet from the car instead of taking them home corporations, the future of our planet rests heavily on to our recycling bin. Why? Because it’s simply more the shoulders of Joe consumer. Yet even with numerous convenient that way. burning issues facing our environment, only a small portion of Joes are willing to change their consumption Now this is where it gets interesting, because an patterns and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. environmentalist that lives by an ‘eco-idealist’ code would probably point out flaw after flaw in this example, One of the reasons may be in how we’ve talked about from: 1) why are you going to a spray wash that wastes ‘social responsibility’ in the past. The term responsible ridiculous amounts of water in the first place?; to 2) has a weird rub to it. If you’re positioning your brand why is your wife consuming bottled water instead of as responsible does it also open it up to potential scrutiny putting filtered water into a re-useable container?; to 3) about other aspects of your business? In addition, by we’ll give you points for driving a Prius, but we’re going telling a consumer that they’ll be practicing social to take away double points for your family also owning responsibility by consuming your product, you’re also a gas-guzzling ’94 Chevy Suburban. in effect wagging your finger at them and telling that person they’re irresponsible when they don’t. When it comes down to it, the majority of us can easily be “out gooded” by a full-time “do gooder”, but what Here’s a thought. How about using the term benefit comes from making people feel guilty about the socially-constructive in lieu of socially-responsible? way they live? In the long run it only hurts the cause. For starters, it’s more accessible and doesn’t conjure It seems that no one is safe from criticism in this up thoughts of irresponsibility and negativity that are complex web of purpose (just ask Al Gore who in light detrimental to the larger movement. The truth is, we of everything he’s done to stimulate environmental sometimes just have to recognize when someone is awareness was recently attacked for his hefty home trying to do some good and they will hopefully strive electric bill in Tennessee). If the end goal is to make to get better each and every day. But please, let’s not sustainable living something consumers will aspire 5 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 6. Cont’d Perfect Doesn’t Make Practice to and engage in on regular basis, we must stop benefits, it doesn’t necessarily need to be your lead preaching full-time perfection and begin applauding communication strategy. part-time cooperation. To no surprise, one brand often cited for mainstream Following Can Lead To Forgetting consumer crossover success, is biodegradable cleaning While the growing and greening marketplace has brand Method. Ranking No. 7 on Inc. Magazines 2006 attracted throngs of new, passionate consumers, it has list of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in also motivated a different kind of following – copycat the country, Method boasts an astounding three-year and unimaginative brand marketers. Before businesses growth rate of 3,390.5%. Their talented team took a can expect consumers to reach into their wallets and sign commodity household cleaner and built a unifying brand up for the next “it” product, they must first breakthrough idea that extends through their products, their packaging the unbelievable ‘green noise’ and visual clutter that design, their promotional materials, their corporate exists in the space. values, all the way down to their brilliant tagline, “People Against Dirty”. And they’ve done all of this It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to market a sports while remaining very price competitive with the other drink or a sports bra, all brands will have to bring some leading household brands. much-needed innovation to the table when establishing the look, tone, and feel for their products. Hint: the What Method did was smart. Instead of focusing shelves at the store don’t need any more eco-friendly solely on the rational benefit of being environmentally brands using an expected leaf icon, an unmemorable responsible (eco-brand quicksand), they used sharp tagline, and an earth-toned color palette. Your product branding and marketing fundamentals to stir up the may be remarkable on the inside, but if you don’t have emotions of the mainstream consumer (btw: one of what it takes to excite and motivate consumers on the their founders was an ex ad agency guy). If you pick up outside, your brand may soon be paving its own path a bottle of their all-purpose cleaner, the only purposeful to extinction. call-out on the label is the word biodegradable in 8 point type. Sure, there are a lot of prominent brands in this Just as it is with other industries, the brands that create space that have gotten “it”. Whole Foods, The Body Shop, a unique visual brand identity and voice wind up and Patagonia come to mind. But who will develop the generating the most buzz, capture the most eyeballs, winning companies of tomorrow’s more purposeful and generate the most cash register rings. With more and marketplace? more eco-friendly products entering the mix, consumers are quickly becoming immune from all of the me too, Let’s see, will it be those ‘green-only’ lifestyle zealots environmentally-responsible messaging. They’ve also or those sharp minds that have played in the dirt on become aware of this new type of eco-poser brand that the other side of the fence and successfully built and slyly tries to masquerade for something they are not – launched high-profile lifestyle brands in other industries? purposeful (remember greenwashing?). While it’s critical The choice is simple really. If our world is to ever make to make your consumer aware of your sustainable significant progress with the adoption of new, 6 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 7. Cont’d Following Can Lead To Forgetting NORTH Mindmeld remarkable eco-friendly products and services, we At North, we’ve been eavesdropping on the purposesful need to take a page from the Methods of the world. consumer and bigger sustainable business movement for years. In order for new sustainable companies to succeed we While it’s taken a while for these new ideas to penetrate the must creatively sell environmental benefits by calling mainstream mindset, the non-listeners from the past are on those that have already memorized the playbook for now at least open-minded to hearing about the future. tapping into consumer emotion and inspiring widespread adoption; whether that’s been for a cleaning product, In this section, we highlight a few emerging companies and a designer sneaker company, an imported beer, or a inspirational entrepreneurs that are bringing much-needed four-wheel drive vehicle. innovation to the market. What we like about some of the following ideas is that they show us just how wide-open the possibilities are in the purposesful space. Instead of following Keys To Making The Perfect Play the map of those that came before them, these brands instead Using Fame To Change The Game have set out to sail in uncharted waters. These days, whether you’re scanning the rows of magazine covers at the grocery checkout or channel surfing on the tube, it’s pretty hard to avoid imagery of Reward Them And They May Respond Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt holding one of their adopted Here’s a thought, would people pay more attention to that children. When Newsweek recently asked Angelina about all-too-familiar piece of POS hanging in their hotel bathroom if her not-so-low-profile humanitarian aid efforts and we gave them a decent discount on their over-priced 4-star room countless visits to refugee camps, she responded, “If I for saving both the hotel and the earth’s expensive resources? can draw you in a little because I'm familiar, then that's You know the message: “We are doing our part to preserve the great. Because I know that at the end you're not looking environment and invite you to help us conserve water by using at me, you're looking at them." your towels more than once. Doing so will also reduce the amount of detergent waste that is recycled in our community. Funny, but she sounds remarkably similar to Paul Please hang your towels up if you wish to participate in this Newman, one of Hollywood’s first conscience celebrities water conservation program... if you choose not to participate, and one of the more famous social entrepreneurs on the simply leave your towels on the floor.” planet. When Newman was asked to describe what he was doing with his line of Newman’s Own products, Don’t you wish we lived in a proactive society, where consumers “shameless exploitation in pursuit of the common didn’t need incentive beyond “because it’s the right thing to do” good”, he replied. Newman was definitely ahead of his in order to choose one thing over another? Well, we can all keep time and remains an inspiration and role-model today. dreaming for that day to magically appear, or we can set out to Over the last 23 years, the pioneering Newman has do what some new, purposeful start ups are doing and offering donated over $150 million in profits for educational up some nice value-adds in order to stimulate change and and charitable purposes. connect with more of a mainstream consumer. 7 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 8. Cont’d Using Fame To Change The Game Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond Celebrities and entertainers have always been closely As much as the word ‘recycling’ surrounds us in our everyday tied with various causes; whether they’re strumming lives, the participation rates remain relatively modest (in the guitars for world hunger or telling jokes to raise money 30-33% range nationwide). So the question remains, why don’t for Katrina victims (more on using entertainment to more people recycle? RecycleBank, which just launched in enlighten later). These days it seems more and more Philadelphia, may be on to something - actually rewarding celebrities are becoming more known for “for what people for throwing waste in the right receptacle. The more your they’re passionate about” and less known for “who household recycles, the more it earns (up to $35 RecycleBank they’re dating”. Dollars a month). All RecycleBank dollars can be redeemed at one of 100 national and local participating retailers (the likes of Take this year’s Academy Awards. Even when the usual Starbucks, Petco, and Whole suspects used their airtime to push environmental Foods have already jumped awareness (Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, aboard). So far so good, as Melissa Etheridge), it actually didn’t come off as making recycling rates in one Philly a forced statement (like a Susan Sarandon moment did). neighborhood have already It seems the passionate pleas from this years Oscar’s were jumped from 30% to 90%. delivered in a much more approachable manner and that (recyclebank.com) always makes it easier to digest. Also, the show went green behind the scenes; they used recycled paper, did an energy audit for the Kodak Theater, and even served How about paying $20 for a magazine subscription and in turn organic food at the Governor’s Ball. having that same twenty bucks then go to the charity of your choice? That’s precisely the offer behind Good Magazine, one Hey, whether it’s Scarlett Johansson filling up her Prius of the latest page flippers aiming to champion change. Good, hatchback with organic food and beauty products, which gives you the choice of selecting between 12 different Maggie Gyllenhaal announcing she’s using organic causes (from Millennium Promise to Creative Commons to World cloth diapers on her new baby girl, Oprah touting the Wildlife Fund) is the brainchild of its Founder Ben Goldhirsh. benefits of energy saving light bulbs on her show, or Not sure if giving away 100% of your profits is a sustainable Entourage star Adrian Grenier badging the fact that revenue model for a media he’s using recycled denim to insulate the walls of his company (which also includes Brooklyn home; there’s no denying the power and a film division called Reason influence celebrities wield in generating and spreading Pictures), but it’s certainly a purposeful change. transformative idea. When asked whom his magazine is Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame and his company for, the ambitious Goldhirsh Weapons of Mass Entertainment has just teamed up responds, “We’re selling this to with Greenpeace on an initiative which is focused on people who we think give a dreaming up new ways to mix media, art and celebrity damn.” (goodmagazine.com) with social activism. "If you can imagine Andy Warhol's Factory with Greenpeace in it and me in it," Stewart told 8 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 9. Cont’d Using Fame To Change The Game Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond Reuters. “It is a hot house, a think tank." Sounds lofty, It would sure seem like a tall order to play in the same not sure if it will be produce any number one hits, but purposesful sandbox as upscale, active wear brand Patagonia let’s give it a chance to lift off before we pop its balloon. (Pata-gucci for those of you in-the-know), but don’t tell that to For even more dish on how celebrities are using their Portland-based, active wear newbie Nau. Like the walk and talk fame to change the game, check out the eco-celebrity Patagonia and its inspirational CEO Yvon Chouinard have been gossip blog ecorazzi.com. delivering for years, Nau is also blending beauty, performance, and sustainability into all of its products (all are made of recycled With all of the celebrities jumping into the game, will material and recyclable themselves). In hopes of luring more there be some less-than-genuine cause opportunists out consumers into its new retail home, Nau will offer up 10% there? Of course there are, but Ed Begley Jr., one of the discount to those customers that place their orders from in-store founding fathers of green in Tinseltown, sums it up best kiosks. The in-store Web kiosks are meant to reduce each store’s when half-joking about Hollywood’s involvement in the ecological footprint, operating costs, and energy consumption. movement towards a sustainable future, "there are some (nau.com) insincere people in this community who may have latched onto the environment because Africa was already taken, but,” he says, “even if you're only into this cause for a week, at least you're doing something positive for that week." The truth is things need to change and if the folks living under the Hollywood sign want to use their visibility and money to create a more sustainable future, let’s applaud them. And maybe just maybe, they’ll stop backing purposeless ventures or theme restaurants like the Fashion Café and Planet Hollywood. Planet Hollywood wasn’t a bad thought, it was just that the concept had the wrong intentions. Why not really make it about the planet, Hollywood? Just imagine a While issues surrounding the planet and those in need are state-of-the-art restaurant that was 100% sustainable, sometimes tough to make accessible at the retail level, a that served organic, locally-grown food, donated 100% 30-year-old entrepreneur by the name of Blake Mycoskie figured of their profits to renewable energy research, and instead it out by keeping it simple. If you buy a pair of his Toms Shoes at of decorating the menus and walls with movie posters around $40/pair, Toms will also gift a pair to a deserving and props, instead used that real estate to educate youngster in an impoverished country. Mycoskie, who got the consumers on the state of our planet and encouraged idea for Toms (which btw stands for Shoes for Tomorrow), while them to give a damn. Now that’s a concept worth traveling in Argentina, always thought he’d spend the first half backing Arnie! of his life making money and the second half of his life giving it away. With Toms he’s exceeded his expectations, as he stumbled upon an idea that is as equally purposesful as it is profitable. 9 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 10. Old Dogs Trying New Tricks Cont’d Reward Them And They May Respond One way in which many established brands have been And the message of the brand seems to be working, Mycoskie has dipping their feet in to the new purposeful pond, is by just bagged distribution deals at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and making modifications to their existing products. Instead Bloomingdale’s, and plans to begin selling in Australia, Japan, of completely re-structuring or re-positioning their entire and Western Europe this summer. (tomsshoes.com) company as sustainable overnight (next to impossible), many well-known heavy hitters have recently made some big strides when it comes to speaking to the more purposeful consumer. Timberland, which has routinely been ahead of their competition in practicing corporate responsibility, just updated the labeling on its footwear boxes to trumpet their environmental responsibility in a fresh, engaging manner. Packaging, which is often an overlooked communication vehicle, can open up a number of excellent branding opportunities. By taking the lead from the CPG industry, they transformed the traditional nutritional label into a communication that gives consumers information about the shoes they are These brands are at least trying to break through by taking a purchasing; from where it was manufactured, to how it different approach, but are we really on the cusp of trading out was produced, to its overall impact on the environment, our mileage cards for carrying around purposesful shopping which includes the amount of energy they used from cards? (interraproject.org) Who knows, but if some of renewable resources. these incentive efforts are able to speak more effectively to the mainstream, the “reward loyalty” idea of those cards can’t be “From the inside out, our new packaging tells the story far behind. Oh, and one last thought. Before you hospitality of who we are as a brand and conveys our commitment marketers out there go running with the idea mentioned at the to make it better,” explained Tracy Stokes, Timberland’s top of this section, you may want to spend some additional Senior Director of Global Brand Management. “The goal hours educating your is to reduce Timberland's environmental impact while housekeeping staff on your providing consumers with new information to help towel program. Because it guide them in the purchase process, while at the same seems every time you try to time, inspiring them to make their own positive impact," do the “right thing’ by not she added. throwing your towel on the floor, they replace your used, Another noteworthy example of a big brand weaving hung up towel with a fresh responsibility into their product offering is giant UK one anyway. retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S). “Customers want good value, but they care more than ever how food and 10 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 11. Cont’d Old Dogs Trying New Tricks Change Agents Of Tomorrow clothing products are made,” says M&S Chief Exec Stuart Sure the food, beverage, personal care, and clothing markets have Rose. Well, by simply listening to their customer, M&S made some of the biggest splashes (organic, nontoxic, free-range, has achieved some good. They recently launched their fairtrade, etc.) in the sustainable product space, but there have Look Behind The Label program, which does a nice job also been some game-changing entrepreneurial efforts using new of educating shoppers about its Fairtrade food and angles that have been popping up more frequently. clothing products. Okay, so you’re flying into LA for a three-day weekend and need Whether it’s Nike creating less waste and using less to line up a rent-a-car. Who do you call? Hertz? Budget? Avis? energy to manufacture their Considered line of shoes Why not try EV Rentals, the first U.S. rental car company whose or Levi’s selling an eco line of jeans using 100% organic entire fleet consists of hybrids. Rentals run from $39/day to cotton (they also include recycled buttons, rivets and $215/week. If you’re not sold, what if we told you that hybrid zippers), we need to encourage these efforts of bringing vehicles qualify for the carpool lane on those crowded California responsibility to retail. Brands like Timberland, M&S, freeways, even when you’re the only one in the car. Airport Nike, and Levi’s have huge followings and other brands locations include; LAX, Orange County, San Diego, San (big and small) should follow their leads. However, the Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. passionate must remain patient. We can’t make “all or nothing” demands on these large companies. We must hail these transparent efforts and recognize their importance in inspiring consumers, other brands, and entrepreneurs to shift their current thought processes. Championing Change From Within It used to be that brands would promote socially- constructive or environmentally-friendly efforts within their human resources department with the sole purpose EV Rental's mission is “to provide the most technologically of making an impression on current or prospective advanced environmental vehicles to the general public as soon as employees. However, now those efforts are more and they are available, to educate the public and raise the awareness more frequently aimed at gaining the support of of the benefits of driving clean-fuel cars, and create a market for environmentalist groups and for rubbing off on clean car technology". The company claims to have prevented their discriminating customers. more than 100 tons of air pollution and to have passed on more than one million dollars in fuel cost savings to its customers. Several big corporations and their highly visible leaders Now why hasn’t this gone worldwide yet? We think it’s only a after being pushed towards more sustainable practices by matter of time. (evrentals.com) various activists for years, are now becoming role models for change. One would never think of mentioning Anyone that leads with a headline that reads, “Changing The Wal-Mart in the same breath with the Whole Foods of World One Story At A Time”, must be prepared to back it up. the world, but to their credit the Bentonville behemoth Participant Productions Founder Jeff Skoll (former president has made significant steps to evangelize purpose from and employee #1 at online powerhouse eBay) has backed up 11 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 12. Cont’d Championing Change From Within Cont’d Change Agents Of Tomorrow within. They’ve been working with Conservation that statement and then some since assembling an all-star team International to help shape ambitious goals for slicing of entertainment executives back in 2004. Together his team has and dicing their total energy consumption. Wal-Mart, built an environment to ‘foster which is the largest private purchaser of electricity in storytelling that engages the the U.S., has put forth an aggressive plan to reduce audience, generates awareness energy demands in all of its facilities by 30% in the of topical and interesting issues next ten years. and inspires individuals to take action.’ Speaking of Whole Foods, they’ve just become the biggest corporate user of wind power in the country. They inked a two-year contract with Renewable Choice Even if you’re not familiar with Participant as a brand name, Energy to purchase 458,000 megawatt-hours of wind you’ve surely heard of some of the titles coming out of their energy credits. That’s enough to cover energy use for offices in the last three years: Fast Food Nation, Murderball, all of its stores, bakeries, distribution centers, regional Syriana, And Good Night, And Good Luck, as well as last year’s offices, and corporate headquarters in Austin. This effort global warming eye-opener, An Inconvenient Truth. As we know, has also led to a consumer-facing promotional partnership, films have the power to move and amass quite a following. With where customers can purchase $15 wind power cards that big of an audience in tow, we look forward to Participant (basically renewable energy credits) right along with their launching even more brand initiatives aimed around inspiring yoga mag and Burt’s Bees lip balm at check out. consumer action. (participantproductions.com) “Right now, the main benefit is public relations," said Lastly, we have to mention this category-shifting, entrepreneurial Andrew Aulisi, Senior Associate at the nonprofit World idea coming out of the Netherlands. Enviu, an international non- Resources Institute. “For a company like Whole Foods, profit organization for young entrepreneurs, is working together which has a particular kind of clientele, I can imagine with an architectural firm to create a truly Sustainable Dance this is an important way they relate to their customers." Club. At the core of the idea is an energy-generating dance floor that will offset the club’s energy consumption. In addition, the On the technology front, both Nokia and Dell are leading toilets will flush with rainwater, the walls will change color as the way for doing away with toxic chemicals and have reaction to temperature changes, and they’ll have a rooftop garden. set measures for eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other harmful substances from their current and future product lines. And companies like Clif Bar and Google are offering their employees $5,000 towards the purchase of a hybrid. Clif Bar is even offering $2,500 toward the lease of a vehicle that obtains a partial zero emissions vehicle emissions rating of at least 45 mpg. If you were having trouble thinking outside the expected box and You can read about more future-looking companies making sustainability attractive and cost-effective, you may just participation in these types of vehicle programs at want to order a glass of what they’re drinking over in hybridcenter.org. Rotterdam. This is cool. (sustainabledanceclub.com) 12 How Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 13. Cont’d Championing Change From Within Want to talk about other organizations with loyal Case, on the other hand is looking to revolutionize the followings, even religious groups have joined the health and wellness industry by trading out his familiar ecological movement. The national organization “you’ve got mail” days for the more empowering “you’re Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is now in control” rallying cry. RevolutionHealth.com, using the sponsoring a drive to install efficient compact-florescent collective “social wisdom” of its users, offers more than light bulbs. No Joke here, their pitch: “How Many Jews 125 free tools and online services that help people live Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?” Mazal Tov! healthier – from losing weight to determining what an ailment might be to tracking one’s overall health In addition, we would be doing this section a disservice progress. if we didn’t mention the likes of Buffet, Gates, Branson, Case, and Doerr when talking about charismatic leaders “RevolutionHealth.com is not just another health site – championing change by donning the hat of a Cause we are working to build the online destination where Capitalist. While all these men are well-known and you can ‘take action’ to improve your health or your respected for devoting a large chunk of their time and family’s health. It’s time to use the power of the Internet money to philanthropic causes, they’ve recently stepped to reform health care with a ‘people-powered’ approach up their efforts to bring an even greater sense of urgency to health - giving parents, patients, and caregivers all to the purposeful movement. the tools they need to manage their health care needs and live healthier lives,” said Case. Branson, who also heads up Virgin Unite (virginunite.com), Virgin's independent charitable arm designed to drive The encouraging signs coming out of all of this, entrepreneurial approaches to social and environmental it seems as if the corporate world, entrepreneurs, issues, says that he’ll contribute an estimated $3 billion in and environmentalists are now teaming up to work personal profits over the next 10 years to develop energy constructively together. Everyone’s coming around sources that do not contribute to global warming. to the idea that business has the innovation chops “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful and entrepreneurial flair to solve problems in ways world from our parents and they from their parents,” that government regulation will never match. The more said the maverick entrepreneur. “It is in our hands these companies, investors, and business leaders tackle whether our children and their children inherit the same issues like sustainability and health care, the more world. We must not be the generation responsible for benefit they will ultimately see from a customer irreversibly damaging the environment.” relation’s perspective, from profit potential, and from moving that purposeful needle. In addition, Branson announced earlier in the year that he’s offering a $25 million prize for scientists who find However, we must be realistic. These issues are not a way to help save the planet from the effects of climate going to be solved, cured, or reversed by a handful of change by removing at least a billion tons of carbon thoughtful billionaires. It’s going to take our collective dioxide a year from the Earth's atmosphere. thinking and effort to right this (mother) ship. 13 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 14. Enlighten With Entertainment Let’s see, first there was Live Aid in 1985, which time they’re only focused on the entertainment – opened the world’s eyes to the famine issues in Africa, right message, wrong time). then Willie Nelson and John Cougar Mellencamp organized Farm Aid to raise awareness and money for Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson has inspired a slew of family farmers. Comic Relief, A Tribute To Heroes benefit artists from the Dixie Chicks to Pearl Jam to Cold Play after the attacks on 9/11, the benefit for Hurricane as well as music festivals like Bonnaroo to begin putting Katrina victims, Live 8, the list goes on and on. on more eco-friendly shows. Johnson who put on one of the first carbon-neutral tours, teamed up with other Whatever the issue, artists and entertainers have a businesses to donate a portion of his tour sales to long history of putting on benefit concerts or charitable environmental causes, as he teamed up with the events for causes that matter to them. By joining forces organization 1% For The Planet. The tour also ran all with other like-minded entertainers, these events have of their buses and trucks on bio-diesel fuel. Now more always been a powerful tool for drawing attention to an and more artists seem to be joining the movement to immediate humanitarian crisis and generating massive reduce their carbon footprint and bring attention to awareness for a specific cause. the bigger issue of climate change. While many of these efforts seem to garner a lot of This summer, all eyes (and ears) will be on Live Earth – media hype, attract A-list talents, and raise significant The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis. This revolutionary funds, are they mere causal marketing “one-offs” that effort hopes to inspire two billion sets of eyeballs with its consumers buy, listen, and discard or are they powerful motivating message. Live Earth, which takes center stage vehicles for establishing a commitment to long-term on 7/7/07, will feature seven separate concerts on all change? There’s no question that entertainers and seven continents (not sure who’s getting the Antarctica musicians have passionate and loyal followings and can gig) and is being spearheaded by The Alliance For attract huge crowds, but it seems that in order to inspire Climate Protection and you guessed it, its chair and massive change, it will clearly take bringing more former veep, Al Gore. innovation and new thinking to the plug and play “concert for a cause” formula. "We have to get the message of urgency and hope out," Gore expressed. "In order to solve the climate crisis, we In recent years, there have been a few new spins on have to reach billions of people. The climate crisis will the old concept. Boost Mobile RockCorps is concept only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained that makes the consumer do their part before the actual global movement." concert. In order to get a ticket to the show, you must first put in at least four hours of volunteering in your The artists themselves (over 100 committed at the time of community. This is a great way to generate awareness this writing), are also psyched up for the worldwide event and ignite consumer involvement prior to the main being produced by Control Room (same crew responsible event, rather than just handing the concert goer some for bringing the world Live 8 on AOL). Tom Chaplin, lead educational literature once they’re in the gate (by that singer of the band Keane was the first to sign up to 14 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
  • 15. Enlighten With Entertainment 9 Rules To Live By participate. “This is something we feel very strongly 1. Innovate Your Approach. about so we want to help get this message to as many From what you’re offering to how you’re selling it, to people as possible. The idea of these concerts is to where you’re saying it. Hey, if you’re number one tactic create a tipping-point, a trigger to start a whole new for creating mainstream awareness and action in this way of thinking about our relationship with the world,” space is sending street teams out to organic grocery said Chaplin. stores with clip boards and free t-shirts, please go back to the whiteboard and push yourself to innovate. Here’s to tipping, triggering AND transforming… 2. Feed The Early Birds. We’ve talked a lot about how to the target the Making Purpose A Natural Reflex mainstream consumer, but don’t forget to the use the influential circles of your early adopters (including Wikipedia describes a reflex action or reflex as a appropriate celebs). Where and when appropriate, these biological control system linking stimulus to response. tastemakers still have huge pull and can be extremely Reflexes can be built-in or learned. They define a beneficial in changing the consumption behaviors of conditioned reflex as involving the modification of the bigger flock. a reflex action in response to experience (learning). A stimulus that produces a simple reflex response 3. Quit Hatin’. becomes linked with another, possibly unrelated, We can’t express this enough. Stop attacking people that stimulus. For example, a dog may salivate (a reflex are a lighter shade of green than you. Consumers don’t action) when it sees its owner remove a can-opener respond well to criticism. Quit preaching and expecting from a drawer because it has learned to associate that perfection. Highlight the good they have the ability to stimulus with the stimulus of being fed. make, not the bad they will cause by not participating. Okay, where are we going? In order to make purposeful 4. Exercise Patience. consumption a natural consumer reflex, we must first This is a courtship, not a one-night stand. First, get them put out the necessary stimulus in bulk (accessible to be more comfortable with the process of thinking products and approachable messaging). Changing hearts, constructively about their shopping choices. Sure, we’d minds, and consumer behavior is no easy to task. like to make it Earth Day everyday, but this is going to Communicating a sense of urgency at the same time take some time to sink in. is even harder. In order to make the mainstream herd care enough to alter their lifestyle, the entrepreneurs and marketers of tomorrow must not rely on others to do the heavy lifting. If we all unite and use our minds, products, money, and messaging to awaken and stimulate consumer consciousness, we can begin to create that natural reflex; and shift the scales in the planet’s favor at the same time. 15 Mainstreaming Green: 9 Rules For Popularizing Purpose With Today's Consumer. © 2007 North Venture Partners, LLC www.northvp.com www.northangels.com
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