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By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 18, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 10 of 10

However, the proposed guides do not address use of the terms sustainable, natural and organic. So, how far have we come? It seems like plenty of questions and grey areas will remain.

In addition, the revised guides caution marketers not to make blanket, general claims that a product is environmentally friendly or eco-friendly based on findings from the FTC’s consumer perception study confirming that such claims suggest the product has specific and far-reaching environmental benefits. According to the group, very few products, if any, have all the attributes consumers seem to perceive from such claims, making these claims nearly impossible to substantiate.

Fear

Thinking about the past couple years and the direction certain realities may take in the coming year, I wondered about a common thread, and "fear" seems to be a nice, one-word way to make all the connections.

The economy scared the hell out of most of us, losing control of brand messaging as social media's power becomes clear has not been the most comfortable proposition and what does the future hold with propositions such as the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 on the table?

LVMH’s Perrier also used the word "fear" as a shaper of the industry in his presentation, reinforcing my inklings, and his use reinforced his overall positive message (specifically about innovation), and I think, too, that fear is not necessarily a bad thing—if harnessed and applied in the right way. It cannot lead to panic, but it should lead to a gain in knowledge—in turn leading to better business and stronger brands.