A branding war has emerged. The three contestants are national/international brands, private labels offered by large retailers and the new entrant, the green smartphone app.
The key driver for this trend is the expectation that consumers will seek like quality items and pick the private label product because it is lower in price.
Smartphone use of bar scanning apps exploded during the 2010 Holiday shopping seasons. Studies indicate:
- 120 MILLION bar code scans were performed via a smartphone!
- The average smartphone bar code app scanner used it at FOUR different retail locations.
What does this emerging mega-trend mean in terms of branding and green businesses? A whole new ball game where consumers can now look beyond the price sticker and box labels in search of product claim authenticity.
No longer will any private, national or green brand be able to “pitch or shape” their benefit claims. Here’s some examples of where this could be heading in terms of how the consumer’s ability to search based upon authenticity and transparency of claims could shape brand marketing:
- Smartphone app bar scanner users will be able to determine if a product that is private, national or green is coming out of the same factory!
- These consumers will be able to look past claims and see how independent third party experts rank a product on issues of individual and environmental health
- These consumers will be able to receive real time feedback from members of their social media tribe on their experiences with a product
- These consumers will be able to receive real time ad messaging from a competing product on why their product is more AUTHENTIC!
For a green business this is a revolutionary opportunity to push past the marketing power of both national brands and retailers offering private brands. It is a doorway for your target customer seeking “in me, on me and around me” solutions to find you based upon the authenticity and transparency of your business and product offerings.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 that focuses upon the emerging smart, healthy and green economy. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses making money going green.