Getting Ready to Ride the Green Wave
The Eco-Responsible program helped Prime Line get out in front of the greenwashing fears distributors might have. “That was our explicit intention. It’s been so well received because it’s so detailed and explicit. There’s going to be a lot of noise out there, a lot of claims, and we want to stand out,” stated Lederer.
THE BREAKING POINT
For the sake of the earth, environmental stewardship within a company is a promising indicator that a values shift is beginning to occur in our country. But, it’s only half the battle. Strictly speaking from a profits standpoint, free enterprise demands money be made. No matter how green these programs and the products associated with them are, the market has to respond with more than polite interest. “We were looking for a way to bring green plastics to the promotional marketplace because we perceived an end-buyer would want to associate their brand with environmentally conscious solutions, but it was a perceived market, not an actual market,” asserted Ellis, who said it generally takes one to two years for new products to gather steam. “Our business plan does not expect a strong initial demand for these products. … Like most things in this market, it takes some time for new ideas and new products to get much traction financially,” Ellis added.
However, he’s comfortable with the time frame, because there is really no doubt at this point that, like in other industries, the future of promotional products is green. “I believe it will change a lot in the next couple of years. The green phenomenon is very real,” Ellis said. He pointed to the organic grocery marketplace and the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for organic products versus conventional ones—and added that consumers are simply ahead of distributors, at present.