Thursday, 19 April 2007

Part 7: new green brand and business models

This is now online: part 7

I think its the most interesting bit of the book as it gets into innovations both in what we mean by brands/marketing and also in new services and business models to tackle green (and commercial) agendas. It still needs work, but I am putting it up quite raw, for comments to help me shape it.

If anyone needs access to parts 1, 2 and 3 still contact me and I will add your email to the permissions (my publisher doesnt want too much of the book publically available at one time, also I am going back to rework these shortly once I have the final chapter (part 8) edited.


MaurĂ­cio Mota said...

John, i need part 1. Would you mind to allow me to read it online? Some parts of the chapter 2 are missing the pictures (an X).

John Grant said...

I will add your email, then you just need to use that to get in :J

John Grant said...

sorry, actually can you email me

I dont have your actual email address


john dodds said...

This is all good - the only way you can reduce it is to have fewer examples but I don't see any superfluous arguments or repetition.

Incidentally will you be covering the area of "making green behaviour cool" which was one of my big takeaways from the under the influence session?

John Grant said...

Thx John, yes you nailed it, that's what is missing.
It's really helpful timingwise too.

I was already thinking to rewrite 3B; the examples are strong but the categories (norms vs first hand) less so. One class of ideas is to draw on traditional forms; eg I am toying with an idea for local food & second hand trading called COUNTY. Its the idea of moving to local (counting food & delivery miles) plus the idea of the traditional counties; this is quite possibly something to develop with county councils too. It's all a bit like friends reunited; take something new (social networks) & put it in familiar clothing (school reunion). the counterpoint is to create the new new thing. Make green stuff cool ie in fashion. In goods the throwaway fashions are not helpful but in cultural terms, & eg for a green start up , its like a rocket stage (later it will settle down, but for now it needs to be 'in')

Charles Frith said...

One of the issues that struck me as the blogs became increasingly a part of my increased attention and critically the huge amounts of time I spent on them extended, was that it occurred to me that within a short space of time I found that an endorsement by the ones that impressed me most would have been a highly rated referral by any measure. The authenticity of voice that blogs give, means it’s not long before I’ve worked out who has that potent mix of status, credibility and interestingness; I guess that could easily be said. The thing that made it this way was the tacit code of conduct (later articulated in one form or another) that bloggers don’t push product, talk about money making ventures without disclosure and so forth. Perhaps not directly related to greenormal but conceivably an idea for incubation is a possible endorsed list of goods purchased widgets. I’m not talking about “I bought this product/service” and heartily recommend it. More the Amazon affiliate widget thing which could apply to any product and particularly those purchased online (which I guess would have a lower carbon footprint through use of a more effective distribution system than driving to the shops. A sort of here’s my purchases, I wont refer to it, the widget does the work, obviously I’m positive about the products I buy and therefore endorse them too. I don’t know where this is going and it’s not at this stage linked into full on green activity but if tied in with say branded utility ideas plus disintermediation which must have an impact on the overall carbon footprint, could easily be a force for good in green marketing. It could of course be embraced by less enthusiastically green brands. Anyway, its just a thought that’s been kicking around a while. I anticipate this model in the web 2.0 economy at some point though.

One of the really interesting takeouts that I should carry with me if I get involved with brands that want to become greenormal, is one that has been made on this blog a few times but it takes a comment elsewhere to really bring the point home. Neil Perkin on his blog today writes the following about the findings of a large research project called Green Matters with a sample size of 3000..

Energy efficiency appears to be one area where consumers have been empowered to take action. Switching off electrical appliances is driven by saving money: safeguarding the environment is only the third most popular motive, after personal safety.

So I guess that’s the way to sell green. Forget the tree hugging stuff and talk about the wallet or secondary benefits. I wander what this will mean when people realise the tiered benefits of the beautiful coincidence(s). Something interesting there in terms of green progression.

Here’s the link if it’s of interest.

That mooncup example is fascinating. God forbid that a couple of lads should know more than a woman about this subject but I can share with you a precedent which probably saved a huge amount of lives in Thailand where despite an image of sexual liberation in the go go bars of tourist spots across the country, the average Thai girl is incredibly shy of nudity and the discussion of sex and sexuality is highly limited by social codes. This also extends to the prostitution of women in the initial stages, unlikely as it may seem. In any case, when HIV started to rip through the world, Senator Meechai, a progressive man but one who understood that ignorance is not a defense against male promiscuity made it a point to teach the population about the condom.

It’s important to bear in mind that before Senator Meechai’s intervention the condom was viewed with as much horror and disgust by women as the Moon Cup seems to invoke. His answer was to bring it out into the open and normalise the condom. He even has a very famous restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms that is famous for having the word condom in it’s name. He also did publicity stunts with condoms blown up in all sorts of public places, and it was very effective. Condoms were normalised.

Thailands HIV never exploded in the way that was anticipated and many lives were saved. Nobody now thinks twice about the condoms on sale in a 7 Eleven next to the chewing gum but the point is that even in a world of the paradoxically sexually ignorant, it’s possible to normalise sensitive subjects. It’s one of the manifestations of the modern world that we pretend we are germ free and don’t have any waste. This is nonsense and a myth of 3rd millennium consumer culture communications. The obsession with taking out germs has led us to lower immune systems and so forth.

Anyway, good for getting the Mooncup subject out. I’d never heard of it before but it’s certainly one of those psychological hurdles that need re-examining. Including that one about sharing a car with people who might actually read the Daily Mail! God knows we all put up with people who like to rant now and again in other circumstances.
Come to think of it (I’ve made a cup of tea since) something is wrong if women feel uncomfortable talking about menstruation between each other but some men don’t. In my experience if it’s choice between cleaning up between vomit or menstruation I’d rather the latter – and I have done. Yet it seems that excessive drinking and puking seems to matter less as a social faux pas in the main.

Climate Change Church of Jerusalem is just brilliant. I hadn’t grasped the full implications of what you were saying earlier but as a change agitation/agitation agent and providing a focus for behaviour is very cool. I’m up for any incense jobs if that can be arranged in an environmentally sound manner 

Bank of Barta? YES.. very very good. You’ve articulated that which I was trying to crystalise in thought on but I think there’s an opportunity to put peoples individual carbon footprint units into the system to allow for trading between the affluents and the less affluents. But in any case I really love that idea of putting insurance into the system as it conveys reliability and professionalism which is something that the new entrants to the conversation economy will need.

Great….Really good chapter.

Charles Frith said...

I mentioned Meechai in earlier comments and he's made the New York Times blog on normalizing subjects. He's a real revolutionary for this. Notice the condoms on the lamp. Unthinkable before Meechai's clever campaign.