Woodland goes green

By Antara Ghosal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | December 29, 2009
Woodland, the footwear and apparel brand, is all set to spend Rs 30 crore to showcase a 'green' look in the New Year

Woodland, the footwear and apparel brand, will spend Rs 30 crore to position itself as a pro-planet (eco-friendly) brand in the year to come. This includes expenditure on BTL activities and online initiatives, which Woodland feels, will help it to connect better with the TG - the tech-savvy and adventure-loving generation.

In a rendezvous with afaqs!, Amol Dhillon, vice-president (strategic planning), Woodland, says, "For all this while, our commitment towards the environment has mostly been from the product perspective. We have always tried to make products and work with processes that cause the least harm to the environment. But now, it's time to take up the cause to a bigger platform and involve our customers."

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The brand plans to reduce its own environmental impact to zero by 2015. To accomplish the mission, it has already started several eco-friendly initiatives. From stricter evaluation of raw materials and investments in green technologies such as video conferencing and solar panels, to tying up with NGOs and encouraging employee level participation, Woodland is taking several steps to intensify its green campaign.

Efforts are also being made to create greater awareness among customers, by reaching out to them via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. "We have our presence on Facebook and Twitter, where we run all our new campaigns, post information about our new range of products, our green initiatives and whatever is latest on our end. We intend to serve as a platform, where our customers can speak their mind and raise their concerns," adds Dhillon.

Woodland's website has also been revamped, in line with its green drive. The website has been so created that it can showcase the entire range of Woodland products at one place and can handle customer queries 24x7, either through toll-free numbers or online chat. The idea is to promote e-commerce, so that customers needn't come to the showroom; but can, instead, shop conveniently from their homes. This will, again, help in saving time, money and not to mention, the environment.

The website also has a carbon emission calculator, which enables the user to check his contribution to environment pollution, and tells him how many trees it would take to offset the pollution created by him. "All you need to do here is to supply some details like the number and size of cars you are using, the number of members in your family, air travels/ train travels undertaken; and the calculator will tell you about the total amount of carbon emission you are causing every month. It will also tell you about how many trees would be needed to make up for it," clarifies Dhillon.

Woodland also plans to come up with games for mobile phones based on the environment theme.

In an effort to bring its customers closer to nature, Woodland plans to organise outdoor events and activities more often. For this, it has tied up with adventure tour providers in India and abroad.

"Customers buying Woodland merchandise worth a certain amount will be put through a lucky draw. The winners will then be sponsored by us for an outdoor trip. The intention is to get them closer to nature, and thereby, make them love it and care for it," explains Dhillon.

He adds, "We are taking eight people from across India for a sponsored trip to Rishikesh in the first week of January. More such trips are in the pipeline, but next time, the destination will be somewhere abroad. And the activities will be wilder, such as skiing and paragliding."

Also, as a part of their green initiative, Woodland plans to gift saplings to its customers on their birthdays and anniversaries.

Woodland's new range of pro-planet commercials will hit the TV channels in a couple of weeks. "The commercials will highlight issues like - Why burn logs during winter and pollute the environment? Instead, use Woodland's products to keep yourself warm. We also plan to rope in some celebrity, who is quite active in this arena, to voice our concerns more effectively," says Dhillon.