on Monday January 21, 2019

Challenges and Solutions for Cleantech and Positive Impact Companies

At Orange Bird, we want to pave the way for CleanTech solutions and the companies which enable the transition to carbon-free economy. This way we hope to contribute to preserving the planet as the habitat for Homo Sapiens and other species. We realise that such companies face many difficulties just like any other business, however, they also meet their own unique challenges. In this blog post, we will explore the most common challenges and possible solutions.

Challenge 1: Too different

Nowadays markets are fragmented and many niches are saturated. CleanTech and positive impact companies do not only need to wade their way to the right audience like any other company but have to work harder on brand awareness to compete with established brands successfully: their products are oftentimes conceptually too new for the target audience to quickly understand or trust their efficiency. Sometimes CleanTech products or services do not provide a pragmatic benefit right away or need some time to evolve for that purpose. In any case, the consumer needs to be socially responsible to start using them.


Like for other products, it is crucial to focus on the right audience. Quantitative and qualitative market research of various segments who can benefit from your product/service should help to zoom in on the segments for whom the product/service is most valuable. Walk in end-users’ shoes or together with representatives of this segment(s) work out a Customer Journey map to identify communication touchpoints and channels for raising brand awareness cost-effectively. In all marketing communications stress the value for the users instead of the peculiarities of the product/service.

Challenge 2: Loyalty to traditional products

The target audience often does not even feel the need for alternative products. People and organisations are happy with the traditional products they have been using for years or their whole life. So why should they change?


People and organisations will not switch to new products/services until they realise that the CleanTech product/services is not only more sustainable but is also more efficient and economical. We underscore and recommend to follow 7 principles for Solving Climate Change of Solar Impulse Foundation. The principles stipulate to demonstrate that CleanTech solutions don’t threaten comfort or mobility and don’t serve purely future generations. It is critical to prove that the CleanTech product/service is even more practical and economical to use. Take solar energy as an example: gone are the days when it was more expensive than traditional energy from fossil fuels. Modern CleanTech products are not only ecological, fortunately, they are also more logical and economical. Thus they serve the interests of both future and modern generations.

Challenge 3: “Green fatigue”

Very often CleanTech solutions and positive impact companies require a change in users’ behaviour or even lifestyles. Their products are commonly perceived as “requiring extra effort”. This hinders their distribution.


Luckily, modern marketing provides for almost infinite possibilities for fine-tuned targeting. Thus, it is possible to target and reach the audiences who are ready for change and, therefore, for your product/service. E.g. in Google’s networks (both Search and Display) it is possible to finely target eco-minded consumers and in LinkedIn you can reach very specific audiences, such as Sustainability Managers, Environmental Specialists and Advisors.

Challenge 4: Money

Encumbered with the challenges above, CleanTech companies find it more difficult to finance their growth while so many years of research and engineering effort need to be invested to produce an effective CleanTech product.


We help our clients shortlist events to meet relevant investors and prepare clear and convincing materials (presentations, case studies, graphics, etc.) for successful communications with potential investors. For some clients we have also run finely-targeted campaigns to attract impact investors.


Contact Orange Bird Agency in you need help with any of the proposed solutions! This is the purpose of our agency – help CleanTech and positive impact companies succeed by amplifying their impact with professional marketing and design services.


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