3 Trends for the Branding of Eco Products and Services

trendwatching.com, an Amsterdam-based independent trend firm, scans the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. For their June 2008 Trend Briefing, the focus is on 3 trends for the branding of eco products and services: ECO-ICONIC, ECO-EMBEDDED and ECO-BOOSTERS. Read the full Trend Briefing.

1. ECO-ICONIC

Eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic markers and design, helping their eco-conscious owners show off their eco-credentials to their peers.

At the heart of ECO-ICONIC is a status shift (isn’t there always?): many consumers are eager to flaunt their green behavior and possessions because there are now millions of other consumers who are actually impressed by green lifestyles.


Opportunities for ECO-ICONIC

When designing your 2009 eco product line, don’t mirror what’s already out there in the non-eco world, but make it bold, original, distinguishable, and yes, iconic. Whether it’s cars, shoes or detergents. … give your customers something that will yield them instant respect and status from other green-minded consumers.

Examples of Local ECO-ICONIC

Didier Ng is a local designer who reuses and recycles waste material and objects into original lifestyle and fashion products like lamps, furniture, bags, wallets and accessories. Each piece of her work is unique and shows that there is no such thing as waste.

The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove is a waterfront condominium developed by City Developments Limited (CDL), which was the first private apartment to be awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum (the highest rating). Some green features of the condominium includes energy efficient air-conditioning system, rainwater harvesting system, twin-chute pneumatic waste conveyance system for separation of refuse and recyclables, and recycling of greywater for flushing of clubhouse’s toilets and landscape irrigation.

2. ECO-EMBEDDED

While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful, serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives. Which will often mean forceful, if not painful, government intervention, or some serious corporate guts, or brilliantly smart design and thinking, if not all of those combined.

Think green buildings, or a ban on plastic bags or gas-guzzlers – anything that becomes truly embedded into daily life, and by default leaves no choice, no room for complacency.

Opportunities for ECO-EMBEDDED

Prepare for much more regulation in years to come as it is the only way to embed sustainability into mature and emerging economies. (China, anyone?) Which means new markets for anything and everything. So joining in, instead of fighting the inevitable, may be a smart move. Why wait until something becomes mandatory – especially if you can see it coming for miles and miles – to then (yet again) be lumped in with the laggards?

Examples of Local ECO-EMBEDDED

IKEA was the first retailer in Singapore to stop giving out free plastic bags and instead charged 5 to 10 cents for each bag. IKEA has seen over 80% reduction (about 5.3 million bags) in the number of plastic bags given out since they started charging for plastic bags in Apr 07.

SMRT replaces its old bus fleet with the cleaner Euro V buses and exceeds the environmental standards set by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which requires 40% of all buses to be less polluting by 2010.

3. ECO-BOOSTERS

Expect smart companies to quickly move from ‘merely’ neutralizing and offsetting their undesirable eco-effects to actually boosting the environment by doing something extra.

Basically, once companies and consumers can no longer get away with anything less than totally offsetting their negative impact on the environment – and this will happen sooner rather than later – the only way to stand out, to gain any kind of respect in the eco-sphere, will be to go the extra mile (no pun intended). From planting more trees than is strictly required, to cleaning up not only your own mess, but someone else’s, too.

Opportunities for ECO-BOOSTERS

Count on merely being sustainable, or merely being carbon-neutral to soon be the starting point, not the end goal. So start thinking about how your brand can actually boost the environment instead of just limiting the damage. Call it PR or responsibility or both. As long as you’re going out of your way to do something extra, everyone wins.

Examples of Local ECO-BOOSTERS

Are there ECO-BOOSTERS in Singapore? If you know of any ECO-BOOSTERS or if your company is one, let us know.

Source credit: www.trendwatching.com. Images credit: www.trendwatching.com.

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2 Responses to “3 Trends for the Branding of Eco Products and Services”
  1. Karan Rajurkar says:

    ECO BOOSTERS IN SINGAPORE

    Our company – PACIFIC POWER TECH LLP is promoting an energy efficient technology developed in the United States . This technology is specifically related to the Air conditioning and Chiller plants and has proven to be extremely effective
    and has saved our clients 12 – 37% of their electricity bills on air
    conditioning.
    As you know the Singapore Government plans to lower the energy usage by
    increasing energy efficiency in industry and buildings and has launched
    the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) programme launched under the
    auspices of the Energy Efficiency Programme Office (E2PO).
    As we understand it this a programme that seeks to help companies put in
    place energy productivity improvement projects at the organisational level
    to reduce energy wastage. To quote “By conserving the use of energy and
    thereby reducing their costs, they can enhance their long term business
    competitiveness and improve their bottom line. Their actions will also
    contribute towards the target of 35% energy intensity improvement in the
    Sustainable Singapore Blueprint,” said Mr. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive
    Officer, NEA.
    Essentially we are an Energy Management company with a specialization in
    Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC) and at the core of
    our service we will audit your Air conditioning/Chiller systems and with
    our specialized technology we will optimize the performance of these
    systems.
    We guarantee a minimum savings of 10% on your Electricity bills or your
    money back!The technology has been in place in the US markets for some time now with very good results. We have over 1200 installations ranging from
    Supermarket food chains, 7-11, hotels,hospitals to food transport
    companies and we have not received a single complaint to date.
    The technology has been recently brought to the Asian markets by us and is
    completely new at the moment.
    If you would like to reduce your company operation costs relating to
    electricity costs in HVAC systems we could do a Pre-Pilot survey for you
    at one of your establishments involving a large central air conditioning
    plant.The Pre-Pilot survey would be done without any cost or obligation to
    your company and based on our report you can decide whether it viable and
    cost-effective for your company to install our product.
    It may be relevant to note that normally you get a pay-back of the cost
    within 10 months or less and the ROI on our product is over 600% in a 5
    year period.
    As you are aware air conditioning consumes a very large percentage of the
    electricity in Singapore and even a 10% reduction will substantially
    reduce business costs, lower Singapore’s energy intensity and reduce its
    carbon footprint.

    Karan Rao Rajurkar
    PACIFIC POWER TECH LLP
    59 Regent Street Singapore 798344

    Mobile No – 8453 4495

  2. Marketing has an enormous influence on consumer´s behaviour. It can explain, educate, warn or to offer complex solutions. Eco-marketing doesn´t have to be design for goods only it can be useful also for services. It can easily explain how to reconstruct a house to be more energy efficient or how to deal with rain water, etc. All marketing managers should be re-educated to follow mostly ecological ways of doing something.

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