Are You Building Bridges?
Sharing the Marketing with your Customers

Gray Issues in the Green Space

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had a front page article (subscription required) about environmental activists who've gone to work for corporations they formerly fought, in hopes of steering those companies from within to a more consistent and effective approach to protecting the environment. At the Net Impact conference, we heard from an environmental activist who now works for Intel and is currently focused on the "greening of the supply chain," or making sure Intel's suppliers follow sound environmental practices.

Tom Chappell, founder of Tom's of Maine, also spoke at the Net Impact conference and is featured in the December issue of Business 2.0 in an article called Tom's of Mainstream (subscription required to read entire article). It explains how Chappell is convincing retailers to support his high-margin products because it helps them look good to their customers, and because

Going forward, the privately held company says it plans to deliver annual growth of 20 to 25 percent while increasing its U.S. household penetration from 2 percent today to 13 percent -- the segment of the population that shares Tom's socially conscious values, according to the firm's research.

Tom's of Maine is also sold in WalMart now. So are these 'socially conscious' people selling out, or are they simply acting on the recognition their values are becoming 'mainstream'?