Today’s businesses are being challenged by their customers to supply price competitive products that advance individual, family and community wellness.
However, companies are struggling with how to evolve their operations and product offerings to meet this growing consumer expectation. A common call to action among speakers at the recent Sustainable Brands 2010 conference (SB10) was the need for innovation in strategy, product design and messaging.
To capture this theme I conducted video interviews with SB10 speakers and attendees that I thought had unique insights on customer expectations and how to deal with issues of greenwashing, product certification and consumer engagement. This interview with with Lee Ann Head, VP of Market Research with Shelton Group profiles what consumers want, what they don’t want and how they relate to green brand messaging.
About 90 seconds into her video interview is an insightful discussion on the Sunchips video ad focused upon their “completely compostable” chip bag. Focus groups ranks this as the best ad among those targeting the green consumer. Yet behind this success lurks growing consumer awareness that “compostable” packaging does not decompose in today’s waste management system. Is this type of advertising an example of vision or greenwashing? What are the dangers of a future backlash from consumers self-educating themselves on sustainable practices who could potentially call it a “greenwash?”