Graeme Newell

Positioning a Brand: The Clever Marketing Art of Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a hot advertising fad that has companies wrapping themselves in the environmental movement in hopes of showcasing moral character.  In this three-minute marketing lesson video, emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell shows how some of the most environmentally reprehensible companies have managed to market themselves with the warm glow of mother nature green.

Greenwashing uses guilt, one of the most powerful motivators in marketing.  Some of the best brands in the world have mastered the art of making us feel good about doing unhealthy and unnatural things. Greenwashing companies have successfully turned vices into virtues by showing that being not as bad as the next guy makes that bad behavior okay.

Your brand must do more than just show the customer that your product is great.  Positioning a brand is about showing the customer that your brand shares their values.  The best advertising campaigns must also show how the need fits into the customer’s identity.  Guilt, worry, and fear are some of the most powerful motivators in our lives.  The greenwashing movement has tapped the customer’s worry about the shape of the planet that our children will inherit.

Most brands tend to deal with customer emotions on a strictly product level. Sure, we all make lousy purchase choices all the time.  We eat the wrong foods, drive wasteful cars, indulge at Starbucks, and watch too much TV.  But the advertising industry has found a clever way to assuage our guilt and give all of us a free pass.  Some of them have even managed to create an entire myth around a product category that allows us to give in to our vices, yet still feel good about ourselves.

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