Monthly ArchiveApril 2007



Marketing 27 Apr 2007 09:42 am

Eco-marketing: It’s Not Easy Being Green

With gas prices continually on the rise, recognizable and reported changes to the environment globally, and movies like “An Inconvenient Truth” flying off the shelf, it’s no wonder that companies are thinking green marketing is a smart strategy to adopt. Marketing 101 teaches that the most successful marketing efforts tie into consumer psyche—speaking to consumers in a way that weaves your message into issues on their mind.

General Electric is committed to ecomagination. Disney promotes Environmentality. Wal-Mart has launched several environmental initiatives, including its Live Better Index, business sustainability efforts and consumer education on (and internal adoption of) compact fluorescent bulbs.

Primetime programming across all of the major networks focused on environmental shows throughout the week prior to and following Earth Day. Long-running daytime sudser Days of Our Lives and TheKnot.com have teamed up to present the much-touted “Green Wedding” of two of the soap’s major characters.

Amazon sells books aimed at teaching companies how to engage in environmental marketing. The most recent issue of Fortune Small Business focused on why “Green is Good.” Entire marketing businesses are focused on helping companies promote “green” as a means of promoting their business.

How smart is green marketing? A recent survey discovered some interesting stats:

  • 64% of respondents couldn’t name a “green” brand.
  • Further, 51% of self-proclaimed eco-conscious respondents were unable to identify an eco-friendly brand.
  • The survey’s authors, Landor Associates, attribute the lack of recall to confusion on what it means to be green.

    Timely and newsworthy stories are hallmarks of public relations; stories that generate ink are interesting and, like with eco-marketing, reflect a broader trend in what people are talking about now. The messaging is tricky—a compelling message that creates brand awareness, recall and customer action is ideal.

    Successful PR campaigns must reflect a company’s value, culture and position. If the environment is a key message or core component of your business, or is an attractive idea to your potential customers, working eco-friendly messaging into your overall strategy can be advisable.

    Some well-known brands get it right: Patagonia, for instance, founded its business around eco-causes and consciousness—after all, a company that manufactures outdoor apparel and gear should care about the environment. Its founder, Yvon Chouinard, does countless interviews, and has for many years, detailing the company’s vision for sustainability. Patagonia recycles its garments via mail, in-store, etc. Green is part of the company’s culture, not just its marketing.

    The “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, rebuilt his personal brand—and won re-election—by defying his party line and embracing the environment as a key campaign issue. He’s now fulfilling those campaign promises by taking on the EPA to mandate greenhouse gas reductions in the state of California. As a result, The Ah-nold has gone from hapless wonk to political superstar —a transformation of his brand by living the message he espoused.

    What marketing lessons can be gleaned from going green? The devil’s in the details: Successful eco-marketing lives in the messaging AND execution. Messaging must be succinct and clear to avoid creating confusion—talk about what you’re doing and what you believe vs. buzz words. And, most importantly, make sure any marketing your company pursues truly reflects your brand position and is not simply hopping on a trend for the sake of notoriety. Losing credibility isn’t worth the ink.

    Posted by: Jenn

Business and Economy 25 Apr 2007 12:21 pm

Michigan, Yes!

I have long been a proponent of the Emerging Business sector to tell the story of what Michigan really is on its way to becoming.

This is a result of the radio podcast I have been doing with many companies around the state since late 2005. Go to www.innovativebusinessresults.com to listen to interviews with executives of the state’s Economic Development Commission, companies like Menlo Innovations, Chelsea Milling (Jiffy Mix), the SPARK organization to attract business to the Ann Arbor Region, Toyota.

Now there is solid evidence that this trend has some legs and there are lots of knowledge workers in the state to work in this emerging business sector. See this evidence below in reports from Expansion Management magazine and the American Electronics Association.

Ann Arbor Ranked First for Knowledge Workers

Ann Arbor was just ranked by Expansion Management magazine number one in the nation of the Top 10 Knowledge Worker Metros. This is great news for SPARK, the region’s economic development authority that is working with companies that needs to locate in places with good available educated workforces.

The magazine, which helps companies evaluate future locations for their business operations, published its fifth annual Knowledge Worked Quotient as a roadmap on where to find the best educated work forces in America.

Ann Arbor was also rated number 10 of the Top Metros for College-Educated Workers.

High-Tech Employment Grows in Michigan

Michigan remained 10th of the 50 states for high-tech jobs with 177,600 jobs across the state and a payroll of $13 billion, according to the American Electronics Association’s survey, writes Tom Henderson in Crain’s Detroit Business of April 20. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200770424003.

The news underscores the importance of the state’s efforts to attract high-tech companies because of the large numbers of experienced engineers, new graduates of leading universities and the growth of what is being called Michigan’s Emerging Business segment.

Michigan increased in high-tech employment by 1,200 jobs in 2005, the latest year for state-by-state figures. Overall for 2006, there were 146,600 new high-tech jobs, rising to a total of 5.8 million across the nation. Leading states for high-tech employment are California with 919,300, Texas 445,800, New York 299,900, Florida 276,400 and Virginia 261,000.
Larry

About Eiler Communications 04 Apr 2007 05:22 pm

Eiler Communications PR is 20 years old!

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We thought it most appropriate in the age of new media to launch our first “blog” for our 20th Anniversary. Over 20 years we have had some great clients and delivered outstanding services for their public relations needs in Michigan and across the nation.

We have serviced clients with media relations, marketing needs, media training, special events, annual reports, white papers, positioning, surveys, case studies, press releases to always meet their individual needs whether it be a project or a full service public relations campaign. We set ourselves apart by delivering optimum results and client satisfaction.

We want to thank all of our past, present and future clients.
Sandy Eiler