Avoiding the Pressure of Earth Day

Avoiding the Pressure of Earth Day

“We have this great new product – and we’re going to launch it on Earth Day!”

I’ve heard this many times in the eight years that Shelton Group has been entirely focused in the sustainability space. I’ve heard it about products, campaigns, white papers, reports – you name it. Anything designed to help the planet in any way seems destined for an Earth Day launch.

So if you’re thinking to yourself right now, “Yep, that’s right, it makes sense to launch my Big Green Idea on Earth Day,” let me say this:

So is everyone else.

My research team is spinning madly at that broad generalization, but, broadly speaking, it’s true. EVERYBODY wants to launch on Earth Day. What that means, then, is there’s a giant wave of green advertising, product launches, etc., all happening in April, and unless you’re playing in the Proctor & Gamble Advertising League, you’re going to get lost in the wave.

So do yourself a favor:  time your launch with another season that makes sense. For instance, if it’s a water-conserving product, launch it in July or August when consumers are hearing a lot about drought conditions and watering restrictions. If it’s an energy-conserving product, launch it in January or August when utility bills are their highest.  And so on.

My one caveat would be an employee engagement program (and not just because we have one of those launching for a client this month). Presuming you’re only launching one internal sustainability effort – and that there are no competing internal launches – it’s actually wise to kick off your program to engage employees around sustainability during the month when they’re hearing a lot about green stuff all around them and there’s only one green program with which to engage at work. Employees will think the timing makes sense, and they may be more likely to join in.

So relax. Take the pressure off. Celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree or attending any of the wonderful festivals and events in the day’s honor. And then get strategic about a launch date you alone can own.

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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