Targeting customers for caps made from hemp, organic cotton

Targeting customers for caps made from hemp, organic cotton

Based in Englewood, New Jersey, Gopherwood Designs produces and sells caps made with sustainable materials. The company uses black hemp in a line featuring seven different endangered or threatened animals, which have their pictures embroidered on the caps. Caps also are produced from organic cotton and foxfibre (cotton grown in color that avoids the dying process, reducing pesticide use and chemical dye runoff). Gopherwood Designs has also made custom caps for the Tour de Sol car race for electric vehicles, Ecofest in New York, and the nature-themed Sanford Winery.

Like many environmentally companies, Gopherwood began its marketing strategy by promoting the environmentally friendly characteristics of its products, which it branded The Endangered Species Hemp Cap. But as many other “green” companies have found, that narrowed the customer base. The business has since changed its strategy.

“Now we are utilizing corporate advertising and promotional techniques to find the big ideas in our product,” says Erin Kinstlinger, company president. “A big idea in adverrising establishes a perspective that goes beyond the functional aspect of the product.” With the brand name changed to The Nature Lover’s Cap, the approach of Gopherwood Design’s new campaign emphasizes the benefits to all consumers, rather than just those already in the habit of buying environmentally friendly products. For more information, contact Gopherwood Designs at (888) 389-9600; email

Copyright J.G. Press Inc. Sep/Oct 1999

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