Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

David Roman, VP WW Marketing Communications, PSG for HP (got all that, acronym lovers?), and I had a great chat about his session topic, "How green is your brand? And why should I care?" We literally could have chatted for hours, and I imagine his session will be one of the more ardently attended and debated. To get you ready, here are a few highlights of what to expect:

  • Different constituencies look at issues in different ways: The youth market and commercial enterprise may not feel the same way about any green initiatives you have. Can you appeal to disparate audiences like this with the same product?
  • Earning a badge for complying with some requirement isn't worth any brownie points, so perhaps you shouldn't tout it as if it does.
  • If the industry is largely looked at by outside groups as being about the same in terms of companies' environmental responsibility, how do you differentiate yourself with marketing? How do you deal with the fact that the environmental lobby is fragmented and any move could be perceived as both positive and negative within the community?
  • "You should only get credit for what you've done, not what you promise," Roman says. That phrase should be engraved on the desk of every CEO.
  • As technologists, how can we champion using technology to help ameliorate or solve some of the inherent environmental issues with electronics, such as smarter power consumption? Then, of course, as marketers, how do we communicate that in a positive way?
  • Where should a green aspect of a product simply be baked into the features, such as Intel's chipset that allows remote control management of PCs so computers be turned off from anywhere and even managed without being on? And where should the green aspect of the product be front and center, such as Toyota's Prius, which bested Honda's hybrid Civic by letting people show off that they were being responsible rather than looking like they were just driving a Civic?
I could go on, but as you can see, there's much to discuss.