MethodEric Ryan – Method

This presenter reminded me of the dot-com junior CEO’s of the 90’s. Young, hip, dressed down with hair to match. And a company success story that makes one jealous. A lot. Method started with 2 guys in a flat somewhere around 2001. (Young eco-entrepreneurs take note: Their first meeting with Target stores resulted in one buyer saying, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell.”)

Their theories:
Make the cleaner look good on the counter… so you don’t have to put it under the sink. Don’t put biodegradable or non-toxic on the outside of the bottle (to begin with), because people still think green doesn’t clean.
What’s healthy for your home is healthy for the planet is sits on.

The majority of the marketing message revolved around creating culture, rather than share of voice, focusing on their most valuable customers.  To do this, they hired an in-house PR person and added their most loyal customers to the media list to receive all of the latest news, launch kits and samples normally reserved for the mainstream press.

In one telling example of community-building and proof of product need, the Method team ran a series of events at stores where customers could bring in their old-school cleaning products and trade them for some Method. After the event, they called the municipality to help them deal with all the old traded-in products. They ended up classifying the pile as hazardous waste, and calling in the haz-mat disposal team.

Method O-MopLove the Swiffer but hate the disposability?
Method also continues to push the new product envelope. Their O-Mop floor cleaning system features a corn-based microfiber cloth that also cleans better. And now the whole thing is available in biodegradable packaging. Of course their culture extends throughout their world. Their entire head office is LEED Certified (green-built) yet it looks incredibly modern and clean. As Eric says, “When you get the culture right, everything else is easier.”



One in a series of articles on Lorne’s Sustainable Journey to the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference in Monterey CA. Click here for the full list of sessions, or here for the ‘Fear & Loathing’ road trip journals.


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