Eco-branding with ECCI
We were delighted when Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) approached Noble Ox for help with its Skills Development Scotland training programme. As a regular visitor to this stunning venue (a Noble Ox client is based there), any opportunity to help support the ECCI’s essential work is most welcome.
Eco-branding – the myth and the meaning
After a couple of planning sessions we worked out how best Noble Ox could add structure and value to the ‘Eco-branding’ theme of the afternoon event.
On the day, Noble Ox hosted two sessions: the first an introduction to branding at the start of the afternoon and the second a group exercise at the end.
We opened with the challenge of the following jargon-laden definition of eco-branding.
Eco-Branding: Differentiation based on product environmental attributes
Marketing differentiation based on environmental attributes of products constitutes
the most visible (for the customers) and thus straightforward strategy.
This alienating definition falls so short of truly encompassing what branding, let alone eco-branding, is about, BUT it did help pave the way for more meaningful exploration of the afternoon’s theme.
Green thread versus Greenwash
It was great to be able to gently challenge the notion of ‘eco-branding’ within the wider context of true brand definition.
We focussed on how the process and discipline of defining your brand well can ensure a ‘green thread’ of credentials is woven throughout. This helped to counter the familiar bandwagon of ‘green wash ‘ where some companies push their one or two ‘green credentials ‘ to the fore in an attempt to downplay less ethical practices as a thinly veiled marketing or PR exercise.
Equipped with a broad outline of the branding process, the group went on to enjoy case study presentations from ECCI’s guest speakers: the award-winning Edinburgh-based Soilutions and international corporate sustainability experts One Stone.
Noble Ox hosted the final session of group work as the focus switched to how participants would be able to take the process back into their own organisation.
As the first event was over-subscribed Noble Ox was invited back for a second! This sort of public training event was new territory for Noble Ox, so it was great to be able to fine-tune and host the various sessions again.
Jon Hormaetxe – The Melting Pot