Tuesday, January 12, 2010

green push

The Wallstreet Journal has a really interesting article out focusing on method (and Seventh Generation's) latest big green cleaning products push using new advertisting campaigns! Check it out:

"Green Products To Get A Push |
by Ellen Byron and Suzanne Vranica

Encouraged by resilient sales, some leading makers of environmentally friendly household products are boosting their marketing firepower, mounting a broader challenge to manufacturers of mainstream consumer goods.

Seventh Generation and Method Products, which both tout their cleaning and personal-care lines as safer for people and the environment, plan to launch their first major marketing campaigns this week. Both companies are hoping to capitalize on the momentum behind "green" products, which have posted surprisingly strong sales despite the weak economy.

The campaigns come as the two companies take other steps designed at least in part to prepare them to compete more directly with their mainstream counterparts. Seventh Generation is introducing a line of disinfecting wipes and sprays, while Method is expanding its lineup to include a new laundry detergent. They are also polishing their management credentials: The founders of both companies recently brought in consumer-product industry veterans to take over chief-executive duties.

While many shoppers switched to cheaper products during the recession, sales of products promoted as environmentally friendly have held up relatively well, despite their premium prices. Over the past five years, U.S. sales of "ethical" household products—what the industry calls items marketed on the basis of meeting an ethical standard—have nearly tripled, reaching an estimated $1.6 billion in 2009, according to market-research firm Packaged Facts.

"People may be trading from steak to poultry, but the people who buy these green products believe the health and safety of one's family is more important," says Burt Flickinger III, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.

Indeed, a spokeswoman for Seventh Generation says sales at mass-market retailers rose 20% last year from the year before. The company says its 2009 totaled sales about $150 million, but declined to disclose profits.

Seventh Generation plans to launch its first TV ad on Monday. In the past, the Burlington, Vt., company has relied on small, mostly online, campaigns to promote its products, which include diapers, trash bags and laundry detergent it touts for attributes like biodegradability or natural ingredients.

The new ads, based on the slogan, "Protecting Planet Home," describe a household that uses Seventh Generation products as a place where "no one holds their breath while they're cleaning." Seventh Generation declines to disclose how much it is spending on the ads, which coincide with its introduction of wipes and spray that use a thyme-based disinfectant technology.

Method has depended on offbeat marketing tactics, including a Web site that lets people wash away their sins virtually with its hand soap. Now it is rolling out its largest ad campaign ever to plug a new superconcentrated laundry detergent. The product, scheduled to hit U.S. stores this month, comes in a slim bottle with a pump dispenser.

San Francisco-based Method is spending $10 million on the campaign, which includes a new detergent Web site that launches this week and print and online ads that begin next month. The pitch takes aim at the company's bigger laundry-aisle competitors with the tagline "Jug-Free America," suggesting that consumers don't need to lug around heavy detergent bottles.

One ad compares a Method detergent bottle with a large orange one, a not-so-subtle swipe at market leader Procter & Gamble's Tide..."


Read the rest here! Thoughts? (And what do you think of Seventh Generation debuting an all-natural disinfectant formula? Good? Bad? Does disinfectant = antibacterial? What if method were to do this? Comment!)


Sprockets said...

Anyone else get that survey from method a few months ago about a "natural" hand sanitizer?

Nathan Aaron said...

What survey are you talking about Sprockets? There IS. NO. SURVEY. ;)

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