It’s nearly impossible to walk down the aisle of a supermarket these days without seeing a product boasting “green” in its name or a brand promising to be “environmentally friendly” or “earth-conscious.” From “eco-friendly” cleaners and “green” paper towels to “responsible” soda bottles and “green” shampoo for your (green?) hair, more and more companies are offering versions of products designed to appeal to consumers intent on reducing their footprint on our planet.
What “green” actually means varies from item to item, mind you, given that the standards behind the term are often a bit wobbly. That’s how the term “greenwash” came to be part of our lexicon. After all, when everyone is claiming to be “green,” how can it possibly pack the same kind of ethical or marketing punch?
This confusion/excess has motivated some brands to move on to a new push altogether:
They’re going “blue.”
To differentiate itself from the green movement’s “save the environment” focus, the blue movement is centered on having a positive impact on society in general —whether through a company’s overall mission or through special social good initiatives. These campaigns are also billed as “cause marketing,” a term that better describes how companies engender goodwill through charitable acts and efforts.
Now, as you undoubtedly would expect, goodwill isn’t all that’s generated. Companies are finding that cause marketing does good (and maybe even great) things for their bottom lines, too.
Here are three broad categories of how cause marketing can work: Continue reading