Like Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, and Millennium Holdings, TerraCycle is pushing back on the litigation front. As a result, its sales of worm poop and other garden products have shot up 122 percent. The way tiny TerraCycle has been taking on its accuser giant Scotts Miracle-Gro is by a feisty funny and funky website campaign. In a 177-page complaint, Scotts contends TerraCycle's packaging piggybacks on its own branding and much more.
In addition to the usual David and Goliath stuff we would expect to find, TerraCycle creates a mashup of ridiculousness. That includes everything from its product - worm poop as a natural garden additive - to the flamboyant ways of Scotts Chief Executive Officer James Hagedorn. Not only are consumers loving this. So are the media including THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. The influential CHIEF EXECUTIVE Magazine devoted a whole page of its September issue to this "Brand Battle."
No one sees a downside. For instance, Manhattan-based coach to chief executives Robert L. Dilenschneider, head of public affairs boutique The Dilenschneider Group, is quoted in the CHIEF EXECUTIVE piece. Dilenschneider notes that "Legal outcomes generally take quite a long time." During that time, TerraCycle's sales are likely to keep increasing exponentially and its brandname could eventually be iconic in the environmental movement. Scott's reputational capital could become poop.