Don’t Miss Out on Your Green Spotlight

February 1, 2014

by Forward Branding

In our recent online survey, we sought to gauge the effectiveness of various retailers' green marketing efforts. The results were both surprising and intriguing.

According to more than 250 responses, Target out-greened Wal-Mart, Costco and Walgreens. What makes this finding so interesting is that we know Wal-Mart is by far the industry leader for green initiatives.

Green Survey

With over 300,000 packaged items in every store, and stores in every corner of America, Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to have a tremendous impact the on environment not only via its own actions, but by influencing the actions of its suppliers and consumers.

In 2006, Wal-Mart rolled out the "packaging scorecard" - a rigorous packaging evaluation system aimed at reducing packaging waste and harmful materials across its global supply chain by 5 percent by 2013. And since '06, Wal-Mart has also implemented additional initiatives including doubling the efficiency of its massive truck fleet, reducing energy consumption in stores by 20%, and extending programs directly to customers that help them identify greener products in the stores. Read more.

But does anyone outside the trade know about Wal-Mart's massive undertaking? Why would Target score so much higher than Wal-Mart on our green survey? We think it all comes down to brand image and perceived progressiveness.

Target stores are clean and clear of clutter. They are bright with wide aisles. On the flipside, Wal-Mart stores are often disorganized with jammed-packed shelves and tight aisles. These very different shopping experiences become synonymous with what each brand represents in consumers' minds, impacting all subsequent considerations.

For a company that's playing the leading role in corporate green initiatives, Wal-Mart is hiding in the dark alleys of consumers' minds, missing a huge opportunity to add positive associations to their new branding efforts, and most importantly, increasing sales.


Brand Development by Design