Monday, April 5, 2010


I’ve seen a lot of products in the past year that are largely based on them being “good for you” or “good for the environment.”  I personally am a vegetarian and a bit of a health nut. I also recycle just about everything that comes through my house, but if you are marketing something as "good for you" or "good for the environment," there is a trap that is easy to fall for, and you'll thank me for making you aware of a potential misstep.

In my creative marketing consultancy, I am exposed to the launch or re-stage of a product about every five weeks. This gives me the opportunity to stay on top of trends as well as monitor all of the fundamental marketing assumptions that I use daily. It is essential that they be monitored. If you only learn one thing from my sharing, it should be that absolutely nothing stays the same, nothing.

There are two kinds of products and services that include these claims in there selling propositions. There are a group of products that have been developed specifically as “good for you” or “good for the environment”. While these products get a lot of attention, they have been only marginally successful. Then there are all of the products and services that have been out there forever that we are all familiar with. Many of these products and services have been altered in some way so they can claim now to be “good for you” or “safe for the environment”.

Here is what I can tell you, that you can count on, if you are considering these claims. Target consumers are a bit schizophrenic about this. If you ask them in an interview, they will tell you that they are 100% in favor of products and services that are “good for you” or “good for the environment.” However there is a big qualifier. At this time, they are definitely in favor of both of these product characteristics but just as definitely not at the expense of the performance of the product or service. If you are a dry-cleaners and you are using environmentally friendly chemicals you better get clothes just as clean as before or you will lose customers. The same is true of food, drugs or any other category. Your message is first that you perform “tastes great” and then that you are “good for you.”

The learning here is that if you are going to include either of these claims in your selling proposition, they are secondary. The trap is that consumers will lie to you on this one. You will have to trust me knowing I have seen this constantly for the last ten or more years.


Keith Chambers

Keynote Marketing Speaker
Creative Marketing Consultant
(310) 473-0010

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