Purpose Equals Profit: How to Create a High Impact, Profitable, Purpose-Driven Brand that Can Change the World

Imagine if you could align your purpose with the work you do.

And imagine if that work resulted in a highly fulfilling, financially thriving business or organization?

Thousands of companies and entrepreneurs are doing just this — putting their missions where their mouths are and making money AND a difference.

You can too. Want to know how?

You are personally invited to my free online webinar, “Purpose Equals Profit: How to create a high impact, profitable, purpose-driven brand that can change the world.”

In this webinar you will learn:

  • What a purpose-driven brand is and is not
  • How to get to the why behind your brand and uncover your deeper purpose
  • How to transform your why into a compelling brand position and message that connects deeply with your customers
  • Case studies of how small and large companies are highly profitable from being purpose-driven

If aligning your deeper purpose with the work you do is paramount to you, don’t miss this content-rich webinar. It just may change your life.

Register for “Purpose Equals Profit: How to create a high Impact, profitable, purpose-driven brand that can change the world.”

Let’s change the world for the better!



Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ Dirties Eco-friendly Reputation

Hotels across the globe are increasingly encouraging guests to embrace green practices. Yet while guests think they are supporting the environment by shutting off lights and reusing towels, they may in fact be victims of “greenwashing,” a corporation’s deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives.

Greenwashing practices, such as a sign that reads “save the planet: re-use towels,” coupled with claims of corporate social responsibility, have soiled the trust of American consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving. This could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.

Writing in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Washington State University hospitality researchers Imran Rahman, Jeongdoo Park and Christina Geng-qing Chi investigate the consequences of greenwashing in the lodging industry and suggest ways hotels can establish credibility in consumers’ minds.

Their paper, “Consequences of ‘Greenwashing:’ Consumers’ Reactions to Hotels’ Green Initiatives,” comes at a time when as many as 79 percent of travelers worldwide agree that implementing eco-friendly practices is important to their choice of lodging. Research shows a majority are willing to boycott a company if misled.

Causes of consumer skepticism

The researchers surveyed over 3,000 consumers to see whether recognizing a hotel’s hidden motive of profit caused them to be skeptical about the hotel’s environmental claims and if it influenced their intention to engage in a linen reuse program or to revisit the hotel.

Since environmentally conscious guests are often willing to pay higher premiums for green hotels, the researchers also examined whether their sense of moral obligation would override skepticism and willingness to participate in a linen reuse program or revisit the hotel.

Results indicated that recognition of a self-serving motive indeed made consumers skeptical and unlikely to participate in the green practice or revisit the hotel in the future.

However, researchers found that consumers with high levels of environmental concern still felt morally obligated to participate in the hotel’s green initiative, despite realizing its greenwashing tendencies.

“We were surprised to discover consumers with high environmental concern don’t have an ‘all or nothing’ attitude,” said Chi. “Our results showed when ecologically conscious consumers know a hotel is not truly green, they will still use the linen reuse program but they will not revisit the hotel.”

In addition to recognizing self-serving motives, the researchers suggest several reasons why consumers may balk at believing hotels’ green claims. Chi said hotels that fail to integrate green practices throughout their establishment – for example, advertising a linen reuse program but not having recycling bins available – might easily make consumers skeptical, especially if the consumer’s comfort is sacrificed in some way.

Consumer skepticism also may build when hotels engage in simple practices, such as discarding disposable toiletry containers, changing the bedding and towels less often or asserting they are green by simply hanging a sign that says they are green. Additionally, if consumers realize hotels have joined commercial green marketing and central reservation associations that don’t inspect the credentials of the applicants, they may view this action as unethical, deceptive or even corporate hypocrisy, said the researchers.

Establishing credibility

The researchers suggest several steps hoteliers can take to develop a positive image of their hotel and reduce consumer skepticism. They said the single most important thing is to become certified by independent and credible agencies such as Green Seal and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), the two major certification programs in the lodging industry.

“Having a comprehensive green program, certifications by independent and widely accepted green agencies and communicating the message to customers are key strategies hotels can use to appear more credible in the eyes of consumers,” said Chi.

Additionally, the researchers suggest hotels use positive word of mouth to attract customers by posting favorable reviews on websites and social media channels and by training staff to follow the establishment’s green practices and be able to inform guests about them.

“Today’s consumers are not always buying the green claims made by hotels,” said Chi. “It is imperative that hotels go the extra mile in integrating environmentally friendly practices to develop credibility in consumers’ minds.”

Source: EurekAlert.org



Enough of Us vs Them

Hello Open Minded One That Can See the Forest for the Trees,

There is nothing more disruptive to the progress of the green movement than separating the so-called good guys (environmentalists, activists, green businesses, etc.) from the bad guys (corporations, capitalists, conservatives, etc.). After over a decade of being entrenched in green marketing and environmental work, I have seen enough barbs thrown at “them” – and where did that get us? As polarized as our government, that’s where. I must confess I too took shots in the early days. But like a one-night stand, it feels good in the moment, but leaves you empty in the morning.

The truth is we’re all in this together. We all breathe the same air. We all want our children to be happy and healthy. Why can’t we start there? Why can’t we come from the premise that we are one human family? Sounds too lofty? Not really…

The last few years, I have had the unique experience of consulting with a corporation some love to hate. What I found out is there are deeply devoted people inside working hard for the environment in every way they can. Go figure?

Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

Poet, David Whyte, ostensibly agrees, “…high quality conversations, held skillfully at the right time with the right people, are the foundation from which leaders are able to navigate complexity, stakeholder agendas and accelerating change. When a leader’s bright ideas, forceful edicts, and clever strategic plans fail, conversational leadership can open the gate for the emergence of cohesive and relevant possibilities.”

Here’s my advice: If the men and women in leadership positions (on both sides of the fence) can soften their hearts and drop their egos enough to sit at the table and listen, I mean really listen without holding hard and fast to their position or try to persuade the other to agree, then maybe, just maybe, together we can find a way. A middle way. By talking with one another to get clarification. By exploring possibilities that we can all live with. Not forever, but for now. 

After all, the Russians love their children too. (Sting, 1985)

Note: My dad is Russian. 

With respect, Carolyn



This Gives Green Marketing a Bad Rap


Oh Bright Green Marketer, what’s your take on this?

If you go to the website of fast food restaurant, Chiptole, you’ll see chop, chop, chopping of freshly-picked veggies readying themselves for inclusion on a luscious Chiptole burrito with messaging that goes like this:

WHOLE OR NOTHING. REAL INGREDIENTS JUST TASTE BETTER.

We’re all about simple, fresh food without artificial flavors or fillers. Just genuine raw ingredients and their individual, delectable flavors. We source from farms rather than factories, and spend a lot more on our ingredients than many other restaurants. We wouldn’t have it any other way….

But a group called Chubby Chipotle was mad as hell, couldn’t take it anymore, and ran this “Chipotle Healthy” ad claiming that their messaging is “deceptive”. They attacked them on their use of language around GMOs, meats that contain no antibiotics and the high calories meals they serve up as “sustainable” and “healthy.”  Not true, they say.

In response to this ad, one marketing writer said, “Does Chubby Chipotle really think that many people see Chipotle as a ‘healthy’ alternative? Sure, McDonald’s it ain’t, but ‘sustainability’ aside anyone who thinks that a burrito the size of a premature infant is ‘healthy’ by any stretch needs their head examined.”

To add spice to the spew, it was revealed that that The Chubby Chipotle campaign is funded by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a group in Washington that lobbies on behalf of the restaurant business. Hmmm…not good.

To me, this is what gives green marketing a bad wrap…er…rap.  According to Ad Age, 22% of Americans don’t believe green or sustainability claims anyway. And apparently that number is increasing. 

So here is my question to business owners and execs in the sutainability space: If you had a heart problem, would you see an orthodontist? Munch on that…and call MOM if you need some help.



Green is Not Just for Green Business Anymore

Oh Marketing Whiz That is Always Hungry to Learn More!

Back in 2013, The Santa Fe Reporter interviewed me and at the very end I was asked: “any final wisdom?” My last words were, “My hope is that someday we don’t even have to use the word ‘green’—it’s just the way it is.” 

It’s been 12 years now that my company, Mind Over Markets, has been dedicated to helping green and socially-focused companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs take their products and services to the next level. It’s what we believe in, what we are passionate about. When we put that stake in the ground, we never looked back (even though back then “green” was used with caution in marketing because of its treehugger status and political connotations).

Well, those days are gone.

This week, the Shelton Group released a study on the effectiveness of eco buzzwords like “green,” “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” “recyclable,” “renewable,” “low carbon footprint,” and more. The results happily report that green has gone from “niche appeal” to “baseline expectation.”

For instance, 65% of the 2,000 plus respondents said that “green was considered desirable.” And it really doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on because 67% of them were Democrats and 62% were Republicans.  Statistically insignificant.

What this really means is

green is for every business,

not just green business. 

Green is quickly and steadily becoming “just the way it is” like I hoped it would. So what is your business or organization doing to be desirable, relevant, and useful in your competitive environment? Did you get your green on? And if you did, how meaningfully different are you? What story are you telling so you are really heard?   

We can help.

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I’m Breaking the Habit of Being Myself

So I am reading this book called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”. Funny title, huh? Actually the book is pretty scientific in a sort of layperson way. It talks about the “quantum field” which is pure energy. And this energy field, where you and I and everything else in the universe live, is where all potentiality exists. 

Well, a certain phrase stuck with me in the last day or two: Cause & effect versus causing an effect. Hmmm….

OK, so we all heard of karma. You do something and that very act causes something else to happen. That’s cause & effect. But what if we can cause a desired effect simply by what we think and feel? How would that change your life? Your business?

My partner and I have been playing with this concept in our personal and professional lives lately. When an undesirable thought arises (oh my lord, how many do we have in a given day!) in our collective or individual minds, we choose to NOT feed it. In other words, we starve it to death by not giving it any significant impact in our lives. But instead, just notice it. And then let it go. According to quantum physics, what we give attention to — grows.   

Now the flip side of this coin is nurturing the ideas you WANT to grow. And the way you do this is coloring it with “thought and feeling”. Yes, that combo is essential. In other words, if you want to change some aspect of yourself or business, you have to think and feel and act in new ways. BTW: Your “self” affects your business, if you haven’t noticed.

Because I Love Them

Here is one way that this has played itself out in my life. A marketing exec friend of mine said to me after I launched my Women Of Green Facebook page, “How did you get so many fans so fast?” Now for the record, this guy was the CEO of a web portal that promoted over 5,000 green brands. He knew his stuff. My response to his inquiry even surprised me. I said, “Because I love them!” 

That response was explicitly a combination of thought, feeling and action. The initial thought: I am starting (notice I didn’t say “want to”) a Facebook page for my new endeavor and I am providing super inspiring stories, information and real life connections to the women and men that are drawn to turning up the volume of the feminine voice on the planet. This thought led me to creating a website and finding the right people to help with this endeavor. There’s that quantum field at work again. But notice, I was still just operating on the mental plane (thought and action). What was missing was…

The Juice!

How you do what you do matters. Because Women Of Green is such a passion of mine, the energy behind it is love. That’s the juice, the “feeling” part in the quantum equation. In retrospect, what I learned was that our posts, the energy we are putting out there, is infused with that aliveness, a feeling of truly wanting to connect and serve my tribe. So with combination of all three, Women Of Green took off. When you put “thought”, “action” and “feeling” in the same room, magic happens.

Now It’s Your Turn

So, how are you doing that? What are you trying to manifest? Does it need more thought? Or feeling? Or action? How can you combine the three to make the delectable soup you are desiring to create? 

I would love to know, oh Smart One! 

Carolyn Parrs, Business & Life Coach, CEO of Mind Over Markets, Founder of Women Of GreenCarolyn Parrs is a certified Business and Life Coach who works one-on-one with entrepreneurs and executives internationally helping them “quantumize” their business and life. She is also the CEO and founder of Mind Over Markets, a dedicated green and socially-focused marketing communications and design company in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For over a decade, she has helped emerging and established businesses and organizations excel in the green and health/wellness fields.

Carolyn is a featured author on Green Marketing in Thomson Reuters book series for C-level executives called Inside the Minds: Greening your Business. She is the creator of Women Of Green, a multi-media blog and Facebook community that turns up the volume of the feminine voice in green.

She is also a founding board member and past President of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, part of the largest statewide business organization in New Mexico with over 1100 members. As a She is also a certified Marketing and Business Coach and works one-on-one with entrepreneurs and executives internationally. She has worked at top New York City advertising agencies, such as Benton & Bowles and Wunderman Worldwide, serving clients such as General Foods, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, IBM, Richardson-Vicks, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Time/Life Books and more.

As a serial entrepreneur, Carolyn founded an upscale pet supplies company called POOCHI and in under 4 years it was acquired by a multi-billion dollar corporation. She and her products have appeared on television shows such as Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News and on radio and cable shows such as HBO, CNN and Lifetime Channel. Print coverage includes The New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, People Magazine and Cosmopolitan.

Carolyn is the mother of two and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her daughter and pups, Heart and Soul.

 



Piping Up the Poop on PBS

Earth Day 2015 was officially April 22nd. Did you get your green on? Well, it’s not too late. I’ve seen in recent years Earth Day transform into Earth Week with green activities and events spread out over many days. Now if we can only get that kind of effort happening the remainder 51 weeks of the year, that would be progress! 

That being said, Earth Week was especially fun for me this year. As you may know, I was invited to be the business voice of “green” and the environment on PBS. It was a thrill to be part of a passionate panel discussing topics from water to coal to fracking to the future. We could have kept on talking for hours but host, Gene Grant was super skillful at keeping us reigned in. Not a small feat…

One of my favorite segments of the show was revealing how a Roswell, New Mexico company is “piping out the poop” from seven dairies and processing it into a biogas that will be used for fueling city buses. Isn’t that phenomenal? From manure to mass transit. In green marketing, that’s what we call “waste to product”. Taking something that would normally be discarded, trashed or buried somewhere, and turning it into a useful product. That, to me, is the future of business. Oh what fun it is to work with companies and products like that. And I do! Like Growstone, a New Mexico-grown company that takes discarded glass out of piled-up landfills and transforms it into a high-performance growing medium. Yes, recycled glass can grow your plants. What’s not to love?