Since many European manufacturers have used energy efficient, “green” initiatives in their business practices for years, they can have a marketing edge in America’s increasingly environmentally oriented consumer society, Ralph Kirschner told Atlanta businesspeople July 12.
President and founder of Greensboro, N.C.-based advertising firm Kirschner Agency, Mr. Kirschner led a business seminar about green marketing that was organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States.
Having founded his company in 1998 with an environmentally responsible and international approach, Mr. Kirschner has watched the average U.S. consumer evolve from not caring about environmental issues to becoming increasingly interested in purchasing environmentally friendly products, he said.
He has also helped companies in Africa and Europe market themselves in the U.S. and has started to advise them to put a greater emphasis on their environmentally friendly initiatives to sell their products.
“It’s an opportunity for many, many European companies to get a jump on American companies because [American ones] just don’t think like that,” Mr. Kirschner said, explaining that high energy prices have caused European companies to be less wasteful in the their manufacturing processes.
“They have the mentality of ‘Save stuff; don’t waste it,’” he said, citing German toolmaker Festool GmbH, which accepts its used power tools for recycling purposes, as an example.
But many European companies have not thought of marketing themselves based on their environmental initiatives, so the effort may be a new initiative for them, he said.
And, since the “green market” is becoming increasingly popular, Mr. Kirschner believes that if European companies do not start marketing their environmentally friendly initiatives now, it may be too late within 10 years.
“We think that in the next five to 10 years that if you ain’t green, you ain’t doing it,” he said, explaining that so many companies will have implemented environmentally friendly practices that marketing them will no longer give a company an edge.
Mr. Kirschner’s presentation was one of a series that the German-American chamber is hosting this year.
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