Why Green Branding Needs To Die

A client once flat-out refused to let us drive to a customer interview in California’s Central Valley. We knew something had ticked him off the minute we met him in the parking lot. “You’re kidding me, right? You show up in that thing and no one’s even gonna talk to you, much less take you seriously. Jesus!” Exasperated, he turned to his VP. “Gonna have to fit ’em in the truck.”

The problem? My business partner’s new Prius. Apparently, the client thought plant managers for municipal engine facilities wouldn’t take kindly to brand consultants (pansies) driving a foreign (what?!) hybrid (get a rope).

As five of us crowded into the cab of his Chevy pickup, he spat good-naturedly. “And for chrissakes, don’t talk about ‘green energy.’ Keep that stuff out of it?—?no environmental crap. These guys don’t wanna hear it!” It was an odd request, considering his company engineered components which could not only upgrade and extend the life of a 60-year-old industrial engine indefinitely, but also convert it to biodiesel. My partner and I exchanged glances and kept silent.


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