Eco Friendly Products, Eco Unfriendly Branding

Why conventional branding won’t hold in a Green world &The advent of the biodegradable brand

Vancouver, Canada (RUSHPRNEWS)09/22/2008
–Conventional branding takes as a given that the more memorable a brand is in the marketplace, the better.  But the need for congruence between the product and the branding activity around it means that Green product and service providers have to reexamine their marketing assumptions. The notion of biodegradability has to enter into product branding.
For Green companies to achieve sustained success, business marketer and ex-Greenpeace  activist John Dumbrille claims they need to resist building too much persistence into their brand messages. This may sound like strange advice to aspiring companies that have little visibility in the marketplace. Says  Dumbrille, “Raising consumer visibility and loyalty through messaging is needed for all companies. The question is: what will work?”

His argument is that, conventional branding, whether for a Green Product, Nike sportswear or Brand America, gives us a lift,  supports a kind of self inflation that actually displaces our attention to where we stand. Branding that leaves what Dumbrille calls “A persistent mental residue” competes for our attention, and displaces connection from our surroundings.  Does this matter to the business? Dumbrille argues that people are getting used to looking at footprints of companies and products, but are beginning to extend this into the mental realm as well:

“I sip my free trade coffee and feel good about myself as a savor the taste. But this very feeling good about myself is a kind of inflation, or mental cocooning, that hinders me from noticing, for instance, the street person walking on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Companies that purport to be green, but whose branding supports this type of mental cocooning are sending a mixed message that is bound to result in cynicism that will hurt sales.”  But, adds Dumbrille, “there is an alternative.

For more information, see the Advent of the Biodegradable Brand, at

Contact: John Dumbrille
Green Sandbox

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