Now that we’ve said “goodbye” to 2012, we are all wondering what changes we can expect for green marketing in 2013. Based on our research, experience, and many of the macro trends of last year, below are five predictions we estimate will be big in green marketing in 2013:
In 2012 we saw the continued rise of mobile sites, apps, and devices in the public consciousness. In 2013, eco-friendly and socially responsible brands will continue to harness mobile platforms to further their marketing goals. We predict sustainable and socially responsible businesses will further their transparency goals by bringing more real-time and update to date CSR reporting to mobile platforms. Microchip company AMD has done this with their CSR report, and we believe this type of reporting will become even more dynamic and commonplace this year. Additionally, from a consumer perspective, we expect to see a rise of apps that bring additional convenience to being green. Applications and products like the Nest thermostat are leading the way. This learning thermostat helps save energy and can easily be controlled on-the-go through a mobile application. More marriages like this of convenience, application, and product will help pave the way to consumers participating with sustainability in meaningful ways.
Social Media for Cause: Social networks will be used as a platform to share and grow causes.
In the beginning stages of the social media era, individuals mostly used the platforms to connect with friends. But during the past year, social media has begun to develop into a platform to share passions, beliefs, and causes as well. As consumers become more comfortable with online giving, these social networks will continue to be a rallying point for non-profits looking to make a difference and the raise money to make it happen. A great local example for us was the recent Valley Gives campaign. On December 12, 2012, residents of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties here in Massachusetts joined together for 24 hours to make gifts to their favorite charities. Users had the option of signing up through Facebook to donate to the campaign. The campaign raised over $1 million dollars with almost 7,000 unique donors. Expect to see even greater cause related social networking activity this year.
Green Products Compete: With the growing acceptance of environmental concerns and parallel increases in product quality, green products will compete with non-green goods.
As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environment sustainability is playing an important role in purchasing decisions. Additionally through research and development investments the marketplace now has more high quality eco-friendly products available than anytime before. These two factors will converge, creating a situation where many eco-friendly products will not only grow, but become dominate players in their industry. A great example of this is lur apparel, a newly launched line of sustainable fashion. The brand is competing with the many other clothing lines that also feature simple and professional styles. However, the company has seen great success since their launch, despite their non-eco-friendly competition. lur’s success shows that consumers are increasingly valuing both people and planet when making purchasing decisions.
Crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter made their mark on 2012, but largely the news of their success focused on the products they helped to fund. In 2013 we’ll see crowd funding become a must have for non-profit and cause related fundraising. Start up Solar Mosaic is using crowd funding to build solar projects. Once they build their projects, they payback their funders from the revenue stream. The power and strength of this crowd-funding model is clear: $399 thousand dollars have been donated through Solar Mosaic and 6 projects have been fully funded through the site. We’ll see more and more sustainable companies and non-profits adopting similar models this year as utilizing crowd funding is seen as a mainstream go-to.
Local Movements Gain Traction: Local is gaining significance and will matter more to consumers.
Just as consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and social responsible efforts behind their purchases, they are also becoming increasingly mindful of where their goods come from. 75% of local businesses surveyed have said that they noticed an increase in public awareness of the benefits of locally owned businesses in the past year. Locally sourced products, from food to furniture, have sparked a trend in purchasing that will only continue to grow during 2013. In particular, farmers markets have been gaining popularity over large grocers, such as Stop & Shop and Big Y. Independent We Stand has recognized the “buy local, shop local” movement and has urged people from around the country to join in. Additionally, the organization has recently launched a mobile application that serves a directory of all locally owned, independent businesses. Expect “local” to become a marketing advantage and prominent claim in 2013.
These are just 5 of our predictions for the coming year. We’d love to hear feedback or other thoughts in the comments below. What do you think will happen in green marketing in 2013?
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