Marc Stoiber: The new innovation is green

By Marc Stoiber, founder/president of Vancouver-based Green branding agency Change

By Marc Stoiber, founder/president of Vancouver-based Green branding agency Change

We are standing at the starting line of a movement that will make the industrial and information revolutions look like Tupperware parties. When we launched Change nearly three years ago, we thought the future was in marketing green brands. But now, we¹re seeing that green is simply innovation dressed in new clothes.

Innovation is scary, like a trapeze without a net. You fall; you get hurt.

No focus group can save you. But if you succeed, you win a place in the history books. So here is where I see innovation taking us in the coming years.

Goodbye ³value add² green, hello ³market innovation² green. Every big company today has a team converting the office to CFL lights and buying green IT. Some have even incorporated green packaging into their products as a value add. But the real excitement is in those companies building green products from the ground up. Check out Clorox¹s green cleaning line to see what¹s coming.

Eight-hundred-year-old innovations for living. The resurgence of the village, with live/work, high/low income, agricultural/urban, economic/cultural integration. Sound confusing? A concept promoted in North America by the New Urbanists, it¹s been thriving in Europe for about 800 years. To marketers, it means go local, go community, and stop building those damn big box stores a $40 gas bill away from any consumer.

Drop the megaphone. When I went to school, we made ads that shouted to consumers. And if they shouted back, we¹d sic the PR folks on them. Today, that school is dead. Expect the coming years to bring us consumer-created, consumer-fuelled and consumer-perpetuated brand communication. Finally, everyone will know what the professors meant when they said brands were owned by their consumers.

Efficiency in everything. Design and iconography will become even more important as our lives increase in both speed and complexity. Communicating efficiently through design is simply part of the equation.

So what¹s my vision? The only way to predict the future is to invent it.

Sharpen your pencils.

Marc¹s Step Change pick: Frogfile

Gil Yaron, the founder of Frogfile Office Supplies (frogfile.ca), a company dedicated to finding innovative green solutions that work at the very core of everyday business. Frogfile is an extremely efficient online and bricks and mortar operation, and is outrunning the big office supply houses by offering better quality, more imagination and a genuine service (versus a drudging product supply) mentality. I think he¹s moving the bean forward radically.

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