Positive marketing innovation

In the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Business Research there is an interesting article about positive marketing. Positive marketing is the ideal form of marketing as it aims to create value for the firm and its customers and society. In that respect it is more than cause marketing, green marketing and social marketing. Positive marketing adds value to the whole triple bottom line, also known as People, Planet and Profit.

Positive marketers create innovative ways to transform consumption by introducing new materials, new meanings, new competencies or combinations thereof with the aim to create value for the firm and the customers and society.

Material-meaning innovation is perhaps the most visible pattern of positive marketing where a product of service is reconfigurated by using less material(s), more environment-friendly materials or more humanitarian materials.

Practice innovation is another pattern of positive marketing to create new meanings, doings or practices. A good example can be ZipCar (carsharing) which is cheaper than owning or renting a car.

In the article many examples are given such as Patagonia (see also blog: Sufficiency as the ultimate business strategy for sustainability) that introduces material-meaning innovations as well as practice innovations. More examples can be drawn for lifestyle blogs such as Treehugger.com, ApartmentTherapy.com or the Center for Positive Marketing.


Norbert Bol


Gopaldas, A. (2015). Creating firm, customer, and societal value: Toward a theory of positive marketing. Journal of Business Research, 68(12), 2446-2451.

Photo credit: -Jeffrey- / Foter.com / CC BY-ND


One thought on “Positive marketing innovation

  1. As concept it is valuable and needed at this time. Strong all-round implementation effort would make this progressive concept more valuable. Yes, car sharing is a very good example of inclusive sustainable innovation, and it again draws its power from Principle of Sharing, which should be one of the main guiding principles in the coming decades for acceptable solutions.

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