Sunday, September 02, 2007

Green and mass transformation

Marketing green products & services is often referred to as "green marketing."

You could compare it to convenience food marketing or education services marketing: green marketing is a kind of category and is something we can characterize. We see in convenience food marketing certain patterns and rules on such things as pricing, advertising and reach. In green products marketing we see familiar patterns and rules as well: premium pricing, ethical stance, the recycled packaging, the appeal to the future, the "let's all pull together" attitude.

These are ways that green marketing can be typified, and the marketing of green can easily be typified - bordering on pure caricature.

We do know that under green there is a strong sense of necessary transformation. Good. The drive to change is natural, and is built into our DNA. This is something marketing can sink its teeth into. But how?

We seek transformation, in Herds we call churches, or fads, or clubs. Mark Earls, whose book I'm reading right now:

"The biggest problem is that ours is a social brain not an individual self-determining brain: it's the brain of a creature whose life consists largely of other people and interaction with them. Looking at it as if it were otherwise and the creature that owns it as an isolated agent is a pointless abstraction."

People aren't isolated, they change together. Compare the spurious improvements brought by well meaning "fads" to the lasting change brought by quiet contemplation by a group of semi autonomous individuals...

There is a case to be made here - that there is a qualitatively different form of marketing that is suitable for marketing green products and services.

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