Friday, August 22, 2008

sustainable brands

Over on Cohn & Wolfe, Geoff posted this (and a video! Yay!) about the Sustainable Brands conference in Monterey. One of the featured guests happened to be Eric Ryan, one of method's co-founders:

"Everyone at the Sustainable Brands conference in Monterey was talking about the speech given by Eric Ryan, Brand Architect of ‘Method‘, an eco-friendly home products company, which is growing very fast in the USA. Method is a good example of the amazing proliferation of US-based companies offering a vast array of new eco-products - everything from recyclable dry cleaning hangers to solar-powered mobile phone chargers. The home product range, in particular, appears to be undergoing a green revolution in the US, in a way which is not so apparent, I believe, in Europe. Here is Eric talking to me about Method’s mission of engaging consumers who have never used eco-products before - by focusing on good product design, safety, efficacy and fragrance as well as the environment. I’d call that a true ‘Blue Ocean‘ strategy."


And here is another article focusing on the same conference, coming from Unicycle Creative:

"Eric Ryan – Method

This presenter reminded me of the dot-com junior CEO’s of the 90’s. Young, hip, dressed down with hair to match. And a company success story that makes one jealous. A lot. Method started with 2 guys in a flat somewhere around 2001. (Young eco-entrepreneurs take note: Their first meeting with Target stores resulted in one buyer saying, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell.”)

Their theories:
Make the cleaner look good on the counter… so you don’t have to put it under the sink. Don’t put biodegradable or non-toxic on the outside of the bottle (to begin with), because people still think green doesn’t clean. What’s healthy for your home is healthy for the planet it sits on.

The majority of the marketing message revolved around creating culture, rather than share of voice, focusing on their most valuable customers. To do this, they hired an in-house PR person and added their most loyal customers to the media list to receive all of the latest news, launch kits and samples normally reserved for the mainstream press.

In one telling example of community-building and proof of product need, the Method team ran a series of events at stores where customers could bring in their old-school cleaning products and trade them for some Method. After the event, they called the municipality to help them deal with all the old traded-in products. They ended up classifying the pile as hazardous waste, and calling in the haz-mat disposal team.

Love the Swiffer but hate the disposability?

Method also continues to push the new product envelope. Their O-Mop floor cleaning system features a corn-based microfiber cloth that also cleans better. And now the whole thing is available in biodegradable packaging. Of course their culture extends throughout their world. Their entire head office is LEED Certified (green-built) yet it looks incredibly modern and clean. As Eric says, “When you get the culture right, everything else is easier.”

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails