Saving our planet; one bag at a time

September 14, 2006

Your consumer is evaluating your eco-sensitivity

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 3:56 pm

Your consumer is watching you. Get with it! It's going to be a greener world now.

Britain is leading the way. The National Consumer Council conducted a study to see which chains are keeping up with consumer expectations.

Morrisons came in for heavy critcism in the report. Morrisons is the only company which doesn’t offer reusable “bags for life”.

Coun Martin Love, leader of Bradford’s Green group, said: “There is an awful lot that all supermarkets could be doing. Now Morrisons has been highlighted as the only one not offering reusable bags, they may decide it’s a good marketing ploy to introduce them.”

Morrisons shopper Sarah Leach, of Cullingworth, said: “If other supermarkets can do it, why can’t Morrisons?”

Jim Gledhill, of Great Horton, said: “We shop at Tesco where they have started using bags and packaging that are degradable.”

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We have an ongoing programme to address sustainable behaviour and we are making positive progress in the areas covered by this report, as well as in others. We recognise the challenge ahead and are working hard to meet our environmental objectives and targets.”

Doesn’t do much good, that. Consumers will judge you by what you do, not what you say.

Now, if Morrisons had only listened to what consumers have clearly been saying for a while now. We could worked with them and planned a reusable bag strategy to make them the most desirable people in their consumers’ eyes.

Yes, a simple, inexpensive reusable cloth bag can do that for you. At an incredibly low cost.

September 6, 2006

Paper or plastic?

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 4:35 pm

Yesterday, my wife Manini read me a terrific story from the Reader’s Digest on the answer to that question:

As I approached my local supermarket’s checkout counter, the bagger spied my two carts filled with groceries. Holding up a paper bag and plastic bag, he gave me my options, courtesy of his unique environmental perspective: “Kill a tree or choke a fish?”

Kill a tree or choke a fish?

Summed it up rather well, didn’t he? Reusable cloth bags are the only solution.

September 4, 2006

Your brand can be admired like Patagonia and Body Shop are

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 1:36 pm

Your brand can also be admired

Patagonia and Body Shop are just two of the New Age brands that have built their appeal on EcoLogic; meaning a deep and sincere respect for the environment.

You don’t need mega bucks to earn that kind of respect. As long as you are sincere and act on your beliefs.

(more…)

September 3, 2006

360 Degree branding

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 4:28 pm

Shelley Lazarus, the head of Ogilvy, talks about 360 degree branding here. Take the time to visit. It’s well worth it. Even if you’re not in marketing. In fact, it is more relevant to the heads of companies than to marketing people.

The concept is simple and powerful.

Your brand (and this includes corporate brands), must be relevant to your customer; must stand for something that she or he values; something he considers meaningful.

Then, all your communication; ALL of it, must consistently reflect exactly those values. Not just in what you say, but also in what you DO.

Because you have no control over what your stakeholders’ opinion of your brand is. That is something they determine themselves. And they don’t go only by claims. A brand is what a brand does.

Quite obviously, if what you say is contradicted by what you do, your credibility suffers.

And if they can’t trust you, you’re dead in the water. You might as well close shop and go home.

Companies aren’t getting away with what they used to. Except for those rare companies that have a monopoly product. Which, in today’s day and age, is not an easy thing to achieve.

360 degree branding is a far easier and more logical alternative. People want to deal with people they trust.

So, make sure that all the behaviour of your company reflects what you want it to say.

Make sure that all the behaviour of your company reflects what you want it to say

Most of the time it breaks down at the last mile. One junior guy doing something that contradicts the reputation you’ve spent millions of dollars and years to build.

Like putting your logo on a plastic bag for instance, and making a statement on your behalf that says: “We know that use-once-and-throw is irresponsible behaviour, particularly when using a material that will take 3000 years to biodegrade and will leave huge problems for future generations, but because using plastic is cheaper than reusable cloth bags, we’re going to be irresponsible anyway. We don’t think you’re smart enough to figure all this out and who cares what you think anyway”

Ouch! If you’re the head of a company that sets serious store by your brand values this probably made you wince.

There are better and very affordable alternatives available.

Cloth bags get reused as many as 500 times and putting your logo on one is a great way to express your brand values. Your customer turns into both, a walking billboard, and a testimonial for you.

Write to us and we’ll be happy to design a program specially suited to your brand story and your audiences.

September 2, 2006

Attitude is what makes it all happen

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 2:11 pm

Attitude is what makes it all happen

So many kind customers have kindly told us we deliver phenomenal service and quality.

This takes thought, devotion, very hard work and the support of lots of business partners.

Here you see my friend, colleague and fellow director Sanjiv Sood discussing colour matching with Nandan Shah, the bright young chemical engineer who runs Ahmedabad Dyeing. It’s with the support of forward thinking guys like him that we can give you such great service and quality.

When we go looking for a business partner, our primary concern is the attitude of the people we will be working with. With the right attitude, everything else falls into place. From all of us at Norquest, and all our customers, a great big Thank You, Nandan!

September 1, 2006

Let’s terminate them plastic bags!

Filed under: Environment — Kaajal @ 4:14 pm

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger needs to flex his muscles and encourage reusable bags

Sometimes I wonder about Americans. In some ways they are the most progressive and thinking people under the sun and in some ways they are so completely regressive in their actions.

Having observed the success of the tax on plastic bags in Ireland, concerned citizens groups in California mooted a tax on plastic bags. Their authorities worked out that it cost their system 17 cents per plastic bag to collect, transport and intern them in landfill.

Why, they asked, should everyone pay for this cost? Why not make the actual polluter pay it? A tax on every plastic bag would do just that. Shift the burden of this cost from all the citizens to only those who chose to use plastic bags. Completely logical and fair.

BUT when the California State Assembly passed a “Plastic Bag Litter and Waste Reduction Bill” (AB2449), it turned out to be just eyewash as the bill not only doesn’t impose a tax on plastic bags but also restricts all local governments from doing so.

I just read a blog by Anna in Santa Monica where she outlines what’s wrong with that bill and why Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger should veto it. Please go visit her blog and support her by leaving comments or writing to Schwarzenegger.

Keep at it Anna! There are lots of us around the world rooting for you!

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