Review of Greener Marketing by John Grant

In Greener Marketing, John Grant explores the evolving topic of sustainable marketing (although he is very clear that he prefers the phrase ‘green marketing’). The book is packed with many examples and case studies covering some of the good things that companies have done and are doing (e.g., Natura, IKEA, The Body Shop, Patagonia, etc) as well as some of the more ethically challenged companies and their dubious greenwashing activities (e.g., BP).

Although marketing has an image problem in this domain, John Grant argues that what companies do is often more important than what they say (and with more impact on long-term behaviours). I liked his framework for prioritizing marketing plans into “not bad” (things that don’t require immediate improvement), “fix this” (things that need to be improved this year) and “urgent” (things that should have been improved last year).

I have to admit that the book would have benefitted from more structure and more practical tips on what companies can do. However, the overall message of the book is an important one: marketing is often part of the problem and can also be an important part of the solution. Worth reading for anyone interested in sustainable marketing.

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