Working with the Enemy: Zonbu, Walmart & Environmentalism

Adam Werbach in Fast CompanyThe other night at the gym I was reading Fast Company, one of the most dynamic business magazines out there

What? I go to the gym. Sheesh.

FC has a fascinating cover story on Adam Werbach.

I’d never heard of the guy, but he has a pretty interesting background in environmentalism and, astoundingly, is now working closely with Walmart on their sustainability and green efforts.

I was intrigued.

Could there be a more mainstream venue for the Zonbu than a green Walmart?

Could Walmart be a torch-bearer for sustainability?

Is this guy for real?

He is for real. He gets the business side of green, and he has a real shot at making a huge difference, working with Walmart. Which also means, this may be an ideal “in” for Zonbu to seek shelf space at Walmart…

Follow the money

I’ve mentioned on this blog that people won’t buy the Zonbu (at least not in volume) to be green, but they will buy it to save money.

The green thing is largely a bonus.

Taking Green mainstream requires creating a selling proposition that takes in to account the realities of Western life.

Once you find a way to effectively communicate how you can fit in to the existing cultural eco-system without causing hardship, then you can educate people that small changes by lots of people lead to big results.

Walmart understands this, and so does Adam, despite being vilified by so called “green warriors”.

But he saw a major problem. Your customers, he told Ruben, don’t buy things at Wal-Mart because they’re recycled or use less energy. They shop for the lowest prices. Once Wal-Mart stocked green products, it would face the same problem environmentalists had struggled with for years: getting customers to buy the stuff. How could Wal-Mart make sustainability matter to its customers?

You can read the entire article here:

-Mr. Zonbu


One Response to Working with the Enemy: Zonbu, Walmart & Environmentalism

  1. […] product management folks at Via may have read some articles about how Walmart wants to go green (You can read an article on Walmart and the environment that I highlighted here). They looked at what the basic requirements were to run Ubuntu and then asked how they could […]

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