Published on June 29th, 2010 | by Heidi Tolliver-Walker8
SunChips Turns Environmental Commitment into Brilliant Marketing
SunChips chooses transparency to market its new 100% compostable bag.
Last year, I wrote about SunChips’ “compostable” chip bag that wasn’t really compostable at all. It was one-third compostable, which meant that its compostable layer was laminated to two-thirds non-compostable layers, rendering it — well — noncompostable.
Now that’s changed. SunChips bags are now 100% compostable and designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile. (Watch the bag “decompose.”)
I like what the company has done, because it has made its testing process transparent. Rather than a “take our word for it” policy, it’s produced a PDF on the behind-the-scenes work on its product development and testing. Brilliant.
It even discloses the labs it worked with and the results of its testing over time. It discussed the first set of tests under aerobic compost conditions, later testing if they maintained the composting ingredients but did not control the temperature, and so on.
If you’re a composting geek, this is for you. Even if you aren’t, I love the idea here. From a marketing perspective, transparency creates a level of trust. Trust creates long-term loyalty. Transparency and fact-filled PDFs also make for great blog and marketing fodder — making viral marketing easy.
In its materials, SunChips also talks about other changes it has made to reduce the amount of raw materials used in the first place. These include package size optimizations, film thickness improvements, and seal changes. According to SunChips, this has resulted in reducing the amount of packaging material required by 5 million pounds over five years.
This is a company that has not only given legs to its corporate environmental commitment, but it’s used it to create brilliant viral marketing campaigns. Kudos!