Can emerging media impact consumer behavioral change toward the environment? I am not referring to reducing the number of trees used to make paper for books and magazines. I am speaking about real change. Emerging media has resulted in consumer’s love affair with digital media and technology. Marketers can leverage this, if done in a sincere manner, to not only sell their products but also to effect change for the planet.
How is this done? Companies must lead by example through “conscientious capitalism” which means that companies channel their inner purpose and R&D expertise to solve specific social challenges“. Take Camelbak for example. They want to reduce the number of plastic water bottles that are consumed and often discarded rather than recycled. Thus they created their hydration products to be reusable, free of toxins [BPA] and, at end of product lifespan, be recycled. While they produce a great water bottle, they also lead by example. Camelbak’s headquarters is built in an area serviceable by foot, bicycle and public transportation and was “built to LEED-certification standards“. Camelbak recycles paper, plastics and aluminum. In addition, they create products that can go into the dishwasher to save water over hand washing.
Camelbak’s current Facebook campaign, Ditch Disposable, is aimed at educating the consumer about, “Responsible consumption” by purchasing reusable water bottles to and ditching disposable bottles. Responsible consumption occurs when consumers are asked to “use only they we need“. Consumers need hydration on the go but they do not need disposable bottles and by pledging to choose to stop consuming disposable bottles, consumers can have a positive impact to the environment.
The Ditch Disposable campaign is promoted on Facebook to Camelbak’s over 375,000 followers, on Twitter and on Camelbak’s website. The average American will save approximately $25 and 18 bottles from the landfill by taking the 30-day Pledge. Camelbak encourages individuals to take a 30-day pledge to eliminate plastic bottles and to share with a friend. They also have a counter that helps people watch their impact by pledging. The campaign appears to be succeeding in engaging the consumer to change their behavior as campaign-to-date over 1 million bottles have been saved from landfills.
As an added incentive, as consumers we always want an incentive don’t we? For those who signup to Ditch Disposable, there is a chance to win Camelbak prizes. Participants are encouraged to share their activities via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as complete an entry form on Facebook. This is not only smart marketing to build an interested customer list but also raise awareness of the costs both financially and environmentally that are associated with plastic bottles. Furthermore, the integration of social media channels will help spread the word and possibly bring new customers to Camelbak.
What could feel better than drinking fresh safe water while reducing your environmental impact?