Marketing and green washing – a light or a tunnel?
New brands, we are told, spend 20% of their time on the product and 80% on marketing. Without marketing we may as well be sitting in a cupboard under the stairs hoping our customers will miraculously find us working hard to change the world. Love it or hate it, we can't do without it.
Defining how you want to communicate your brand, purpose, and values, and who you perceive your customer to be, really puts you on the spot. Market insight and research will throw you some ideas, and then you go for it …. often only to find how wrong you could be! At Perfino we perceive our core customer to be 25-35 yrs old, a discerning, independent woman…and then we find what a great gift the jewellery is for a loved one, how men adore this, and how age is just a number.
Your brand message is then crafted to appeal to this audience, but there is a fine line here between authenticity and perception, and I sometimes worry that eco credentials and charitable giving are simply add-ons to make you out to be one of the good guys....and ultimately to sell more.
The term greenwashing sums up how this can go wrong. Is your packaging really recyclable if there are no specialist recycling centres to hand ; is your fragrance really "natural" if it is the same month after month ( only achievable through synthetic production); are you really giving 10% of each sale to your chosen charity? Surely all fragrances are vegan and cruelty free these days - who tests on animals, other than for exports to China? I sometimes feel like the public is being treated like fools, and being fed a line simply to make a sale.
As a new brand we are super sensitive to this, as we are still working on our environmental credentials and value integrity above all else. We will, overtime, work an element of charitable support into our brand but want this to be a deep connection with a charity that we feel truly reflects what our brand stands for.
So…watch this space, and please let us know if you ever doubt our intentions :)