Earth Day is just around the corner, a can't-miss opportunity for more and more companies to talk about their green credentials. But if everyone is doing it, as Landor's Allen Adamson points out in the WSJ and USA Today, how can anyone stand out from the crowd?
If there's one brand that does deserve to be in the limelight, it must be SunChips which has gone way beyond a single day tie-in. It has made a commitment to the environment the core idea for its brand. Here are some of the things that it has done:
1) Its name: Perhaps someone from the brand can confirm this for me but I believe that the brand name SunChips pre-dates any specific commitment to the environment. So call this a lucky break but the name provides a connection between the brand and its eco-friendly activities that others don't have. It makes its green activities make sense.
2) Its products: Are all (relatively) healthy. So there's no inconsistency between what you're eating and what they are saying about the environment. Healthy inside and out.
2) Its manufacturing process: Back in 2007, I posted that Frito-Lay was planning to create an eco-friendly chip by taking its Casa Grande plant in Arizona off the power grid, running it on renewable fuels and recycled water. And, yes, this is the plant where SunChips are made. SunChips are made by solar energy. It can't get much better than that.
3) Compostable packaging: But now, with the name, product and manufacturing process all in place, the brand team is off to the races. What to green light next? So, for this Earth Day, SunChips has announced that it will rollout compostable packaging. This ad below shows a time lapse of how the 100% biodegradable bag decomposes in 14 weeks. It's a first for the industry:
It's the whole package from manufacturing all the way through to sales and marketing that gives SunChips eco-credentials almost impossible for competitors to match. As a branding guy, I just have to root for SunChips to be successful (even though I don't actually like the chips all that much myself). I sure hope that lots of people buy the new packages. Otherwise, it's going to be one hell of a mess in the stores.