Keep in mind that green opportunities can relate to more than just products and services; they are often related to what goes into those products and services, including a company’s processes, operations, manufacturing, packaging and even building materials.
As you brainstorm, ideas will flow simultaneously from both an identification of opportunities to market and how to market it, namely the message, the media, the location of the message, etc. Remember, the most important thing is to keep ideas rolling; everything goes up on the board and nothing should be judged or debated at this point. In the next step, you will come back and apply rules to your marketing ideas to see if they’re valid.
If you have included customers, vendors and other outside stakeholders on your Green Team (and we strongly urge that you do), you will find that the internal and external views of the company will co-mingle, and that’s OK. Good ideas from employees and customers will cross-pollinate to form additional ideas. There’s no need to keep them separate. The goal is to make sure you have examined your green marketing opportunities from an inside point of view, as well as an outside (customer) perspective.
By the end of the brainstorming session, you’ll have created a long list of current and potential opportunities. The second phase of the process is when you judge the list for validity and whittle it down to the most important and relevant claims.
After the initial brainstorming, your green marketing team should be narrowed to employees (and potentially suppliers) because this is when the real work begins, and it can be difficult to accomplish the next tasks with too large of a group. However, when the entire green marketing process is completed, it can be a good idea to reassemble the original brainstorming Green Team to review the results.
The Green Team is now charged with forming and executing a green strategy. The group should examine the narrowed list of ideas to determine whether each entry is an existing or potential opportunity. If it currently exists, what are the best message and method to communicate it? If it is a potential opportunity, what action steps are needed to make it a reality?