Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, January 05, 2007

All About The Green!

The retail banking sector has been notably devoid of marketing innovation, so a lot of interest was garnered by HSBC's decision last year to emphasise its High Street presence with a January sale. This year it has tweaked the idea by having a green sale whereby they make a donation to green charities for every product they sell.

My reaction has been jaundiced to say the least. I see it as the equivalent of stamping organic on a food product that just creeps under the wire of that legal definition. It reeks of this year’s free gift with your banking - "Last year iPods were hot, this year green thinking is, so we’ll throw that into the mix and see what happens." - I'd be much more inclined to see this as an authentic reflection of the company if there were any coverage of what HSBC were doing about green issues in their own operations. But that part of the web-page doesn't seem to host any click-throughs.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kathy Sierra said...

This brings up the same thought I had in your previous post... so what if it's just a ploy as long as they're doing something good? Do you think customers are fooled into thinking these folks care more than they do, and if so -- what kinds of problems do you see with that?

I'm all for companies being forced by market pressure to do something good whether they care or not. And besides, if they do get a good response from this, that'll only encourage them to do more of it.

It's the customers who can be putting the pressure on these companies to do more of this, by rewarding them for doing good even if it's for purely cynical reasons.

But you can change my mind : ) You have a way of doing that...

9:12 AM, January 05, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

The question is whether donating a percentage of profits to green charities is doing any good I suppose? One could even ask if the benefit of those donations offset the green costs of any extra business the bank did although that would verge on the pedantic.

No, I'm just saying that customers will react more favourably to an authentically green intiative than to a paint job and so it behoves the marketer to prove their credentials. You wouldn't roll over in the face of a company that said they were passionate - you'd want them to prove it wouldn't you Kathy?

10:27 AM, January 05, 2007  

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