Friday, 23 November 2007

Green Marketing/Life 08

I'm opening this thread to collect predictions for next year. Here's a few to get us started:

1. from green spending to green saving
Various contributing factors, including economic downturn, the introduction of HIPS, the potential for financial services to rechannel our economic behaviour (away from credit and spend, spend, spend)

2. the year of the long NGO knives
After 2 years of giving corporates the benefit of the doubt, there is a distinct chill in in the air. 'Okay, you've done shopping bags, so now lets talk about deliveries, packaging, treatment of farmers and workers, your whole supply chain...'

3. from planet to people
As Eugenie Harvey argued passionately at Applied Green (and Oxfam, Christian Aid etc are right behind her on this) we need to stop seeing this as an issue about 'weather', and focus on the spiralling humanitarian disaster which greedy, selfish lifestyles in the West (and overheated development in the East) are imposing on Subsaharan Africa and other fragile places.

4. green shoots
The pace may be set next year not by clever corporate marketing (turn to 30) but by tiny (but true-) alternatives, like the Unpackaged shop, like recycled clothing, like my little barter scheme if I ever get it off the ground. It could be like 2002 in the internet, a time when the future "web 2.0" ideas were being built in otherwise very spartan conditions.

5. from brands to leaders
Soli from Futerra was talking last night at a green event about how lots of little changes in postwar america created the conditions for the emergence of Martin Luther King and much more substantial race reform. I agree. We do so desperately need 100 new Anita Roddicks to lead us forward through what may be a much darker, but more fertile time for change.


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Interesting thoughts.

And, James really enjoyed hearing you speak last night. He filmed it for us all to watch in the studio.


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Wise words indeed- tell us more about your barter scheme?

Cath (Miss Unpackaged)

John Grant said...

Hi Cath, how brilliant, lovely of you to pop by, can I come to chat to you about it and have a nose around your shop too? I had a booklaunch the same day your thing opened & have been a bit distracted by all that but everyone keeps telling me how brilliant it/you are - yes I know you've been doing this for years in markets, but this is still one giant step for shopkind - and someone them even said I should talk to you about barta too (they said you have a space at the back for community projects...?) As well as bank of barta which is sort of trying to be the freecycle of lending people stuff (and borrowing other stuff) I also have a half-baked idea for christmas toy swapping fests I was trying to get christian aid to organise in churches (basically handmedown; bring 4 year old toys that have been grown out of, leave with 6 year old toys...) :J

john dodds said...

My predictions.

1) Convenient green - a realisation that for green initiatives to work they have to fit seamlessly into people's lives. A focus on process and usability rather than headlines that are begiining to pall.

2) My copy of your book turns up (sorry couldn't resist).

Anonymous said...

Hi John (and Cath)

On the subject of people borrowing other peoples stuff. Check this out. Haven't really had time to look into it properly but it but it sounds really interesting. The ebay for borrowing stuff?

The whole idea of borrowing/lending is really exciting, I think. (we talked a little about applying this to Christmas gifts at one point)

John Grant said...

thx andrew, zilok looks like it could really take off

the equivalent in europe may be rentmineonline which won the seedcamp competition and should launch any day now, pretty much identical to zilok (except in the way it will tap into social network friendship groups)

joellybaby said...

Interesting thoughts indeed John. Green Shoots - I agree and it's going to be interesting to watch all the ideas and new ways to do things that are surely going to be springing up.

I wonder also if there will be anything addressing the need to help consumers understand the choices and alternatives before them and to make some informed decisions about what they choose. Will ofcom be looking more closely at green marketing claims?

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I've been starting to think about this a little. I think for me there are going to be two things that become a little more prevalent next year:

1) Things being designed that have a dual purpose. I want to see product and packaging designers designing something that not only fulfils it's basic use, but that can also be used for something else easily and thus serving two purposes instead of one.
2) Small is out big is in. We're all part of the mindset that making small choices makes a good impact if a lot of people also make that small change - and that's obviously very true. I think next we'll start to see more pressure on brands to make BIG decisions. Sure we can all change the odd thing and we will continue to do so but the patience of people will only last so long if someones choice not to use a plastic bag is dwarfed by someone getting onto an aeroplane. (At Applied Green someone said that the Anya Bag thing made no impact at all because as soon as Eugenie got onto an aeroplane to publicise it/ go to suppliers etc then that flight has used more carbon than all the bags they had 'saved'? I think that's correct - I could be wrong)

Just my tuppeny's worth.