Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Earth Day

April usually has April Fools Day, one of my daughter's birthday's, Easter, Tax Day (TODAY!!!!!), Earth Day, and Rain (April Showers). 2008 has all of the above except Easter was last month.

One of the big pushes on the presidential campaign trail has been the Environment. But what do we really care about?

The following info I would normally post on my Collective Wisdom blog, but I put it here instead along with a picture borrowed from Fort Wayne Observed of one of our three rivers.

(The Picture is actually from Scott Spaulding. Click here for more of his collection.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How Green Is My Marketing

Nielsen Online recently released findings which finds that protecting the environment has become increasingly important to consumers, with online buzz around sustainability growing 50 percent in 2007. While early in the year discussion was dominated by the topic of global warming, bloggers progressively addressed a wider variety of green-related issues, with a particular emphasis on personal action such as recycling, avoiding excess packaging, and carpooling.

Jessica Hogue, research director, Nielsen Online, said "...consumers are becoming increasingly vocal online about the issue of sustainability... Blogger attention to... issues like pollution, toxins and sustainable agriculture reveal an important intersection between personal health and environmental wellness."

Top 10 Sustainability Topics for 2007


Buzz Trend:
Increasing or Declining

Global Warming/Climate Change


Renewable Energy/Alternative Fuels


Resource Conservation




Carbon Emissions










Transportation (hybrids, carpooling)


Source: Nielsen Online, BuzzMetrics

Note: Topics are ranked by number of messages among sustainability bloggers from 1/1/07 to 12/31/07, with the Buzz trend reflecting change from 1/1/07 to 12/31/07.

Discovery Channel's TreeHugger led the top sustainability blogs for 2007

Top 5 Sustainability Blogs for 2007


Sustainability Messages







The Oil Drum


The Alternative Consumer


Source: Nielsen Online, BuzzMetrics

Not only are consumers looking for practical steps they can take to reduce personal environmental impact, but they are also holding corporations accountable for action and results, says the report. Bloggers are quick to condemn "greenwashing" - when they suspect companies misrepresent their environmental impact with aggressive PR campaigns - as spurious attempts to be "green." Consumers expect consistency in action and authentic and transparent messaging.

Top 5 Greenwashing Topics

Greenwashing Topic

Percent of Discussion

Contradictory Actions


Incongruous with Company/Industry


False/Misleading Comments


Seek Regulated Oversight


General Suspicion


Source: Nielsen Online, BuzzMetrics

The Nielsen Online analysis showed that similar environmental initiatives can provoke different consumer responses depending on a company's reputation and history. In the retail sector, says the study, while Wal-Mart and Target both introduced reusable shopping bags, some consumers voiced skepticism towards Wal-Mart because of its association with environmental, labor, and health care issues.

Hogue said "When it comes to the environment, consumers are insisting on both transparency and consistency from the corporations they patronize... Consumer support depends on action as well as perceived sincerity and commitment."

For more information, please visit Nielsen Online here.

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