Shelton Insights

Our take on the ever-shifting landscape of energy and the environment – and the strategies you need to market your commitment to sustainability.

Why Your Earth Day Events May Come Off as Tone Deaf

Every year, thousands of companies do thousands of well-meaning and beneficial Earth Day activities. This year, however, those activities may appear to be a bit out of touch. Let’s rewind a few years to the height of the Obama administration. To say that environmental...

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Death by a thousand cuts. Or not.

Much has been written about the utility industry’s “death spiral.” I’ve got some data points to add to that scenario … and a possible solution. On the commercial customer front: the largest utility customers – companies, facilities and manufacturing plants that use a...

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Take a Second Look: Pulse Insights

We all come across great insights over the course of the day, and then, like Snapchat, they quickly disappear when we turn our attention to those 1,500 emails in our inboxes. We think every now and again those great insights are worth a second look. And that’s what...

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As Expectations Evolve, So Does Storytelling

As marketers, we face some pretty routine hurdles: How do we genuinely connect with our target audiences? And how do we shift them from knowledge to action? A classic solution for jumping these hurdles is to tell a brand story – human beings are hardwired to connect...

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Glass Recycling: A Problem of Alignment

When it comes to recycling, I’m spoiled – I have single-stream, curbside recycling pickup at my house here in Knoxville. When the city recently announced it would no longer accept glass in the curbside bin, I was more than a little disappointed. Knoxville isn’t the...

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Stay the course. And then change it.

I talk with a lot of people working in energy and the environment every week. And for the most part, when I ask the pointed question, “How is your company responding in the wake of the Trump administration’s stated plans to back away from the Paris Accord and the...

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The Fun, the Bold, the Risky: Super Bowl Ads

The sustainably focused Kia Niro ad stole the show for laughs in my highly unscientific focus group (the 16 people eating pizza in my living room). It was quick, hilarious and an indirect rip-off of Follow the Frog, which we at Shelton Group have pointed to for years...

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The Mainstreaming of the Circular Economy

If you read our insights regularly, this won’t be a news flash: Most of us can recall a time when we’ve considered a company’s environmental record as we’ve made a product purchase. About a third of us have actually chosen or not chosen a product based on a company’s...

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Homebuyers Want “Better”

I recently spoke at the International Builders' Show, along with two successful residential homebuilders, in a session called “Taking the Mystery Out of Marketing High Performance.” While we had not compared speaking notes, all three of us ended up sharing,...

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It’s time to talk turkey about the environment.

Once upon a time – back when we first started marketing energy efficiency and sustainability – we told our clients that if you wanted to get consumers to save energy, the last thing you should do is talk about the environment. It’s too polarizing, we said. Why take...

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2017: The Year We Start Doing

Shelton Group turned 25 years old last year, and 12 years ago we made the decision to be exclusively focused in the energy and environment space. That’s all to say we’ve been around the block a few times, and we’ve heard some of the same reactions to our insights,...

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Why did we do it this way?

Somewhere long ago and far away, someone decided that the value proposition for energy efficiency was saving money. “Everybody loves to save money,” these energy efficiency marketers likely thought, “and since efficient products use less energy than conventional ones,...

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Sustainability Made Easy

Last week I wrote a blog post entitled, “Why do we keep making sustainability so hard?” and ranted a bit about the challenges of trying to actually own and charge an electric vehicle. In the interest of balance, I wanted to tip my hat to those companies out there...

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Why do we keep making sustainability so hard?

Years ago, I used to rant in this blog about how Americans said they wanted to buy greener cleaning products, but they either weren’t going to walk from the regular cleaning products aisle all the way back over to the Green Ghetto, or they didn’t even know it existed....

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Go Bold

Last week was a big week. Shelton Group celebrated its 25th year in business, we pulled together a small group of clients for two days of deep discussion around sustainability-related marketing at our annual Inner Circle Symposium, and then, of course, there was the...

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