Archive for March, 2010
“I can live for 2 months on a good compliment.” The quote comes from Mark Twain, but the sentiment was felt by John Marshall Roberts, author of Igniting Inspiration and winner of last year’s Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference ‘Take the Cake’ Award. The award was created to honor the presenter deemed to be the favorite among Good And Green® participants. “I was deeply honored and excited,” said Roberts. “I have invested quite a few years into developing intellectual property around green marketing and communication that at times were deemed radical by mainstream buyers. It’s an awesome and humbling feeling to watch these ideas finally take root and grow on a larger scale. To see people finally waking up to the vitality and fierce urgency of common sense.”
One of Roberts’ big, radical ideas is for companies and brands to begin answering the “why” of the business equation. “I feel strongly that we don’t have enough ‘why’ or purpose when it comes to our brands and companies,” said Roberts. “A good company needs a purpose—it is the one thing that helps them overcome the inertia of their fear-based thinking.” And the sustainability movement has an intrinsic ‘why’ attached to it already. “Even when it is no longer the ‘next big thing,’ the environmental movement has deep in its DNA the idea, the vision, of service to something larger. And within this notion of service comes the prized emotions of meaning and inspiration that customers are seeking through their purchasing decisions.”
In addition to being a talented speaker, Roberts was an active participant throughout the entire 2-day event. “I really learned a lot from other speakers and attendees,” says Roberts. “One of my favorites was Red Kite Business Advisors who, along with Earthsense, gave great insight into female consumers and how they are leading the sustainability movement.” Roberts was impressed by big brands such as General Motors and Cotton, Inc. who stood on stage and gave thoughtful argument to how they were in involved in helping steer the ship in the right direction. He also enjoyed the experimental quality of the session led by LOHAS’ Ted Ning which was more of a dialogue with the audience. “I think the future of our industry is really a balance of those various kinds of presentations,” adds Roberts. “It’s about truly engaging people in the conversation, but the conversation needs to be built on credible information. Balancing engagement with content is critical. If we lose content, the learning and practical value of the conversation is lost. Let’s face it: some ideas are better than others. We need to find those ideas and share them in an innovative and engaging way. That’s the key.”
Which is why Roberts strongly believes that to avoid being part of the noise, brands need to always have something to say–they need to really know what
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