In the March 2016 issue of Paint & Decorating Retailer Magazine, we devoted a great deal of ink to the growing importance of environmental sustainability and “going green.” In addition to a story about marketing to eco-conscious millennials and updates on specific product segments (caulking products and spray equipment), Jan Niehaus writes in depth about the challenges of green branding.
With the rise in environmental awareness occurring all over the world, more and more people are making green changes throughout a variety of areas in their lives – including where they shop. In fact, according to Good. Must. Grow, 60% of people said that buying from socially responsible businesses was important to them.
So while recycling and preserving electricity are a great start, a more concerted effort to go green can actually benefit not only the environment, but your bottom line as well. Here are five ways to help Mother Nature, establish your small business as an eco-friendly leader, and build a greener brand.
- Carry Green Products: There’s no easy way to say it: paint is a large-scale pollutant. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play a part in cutting down waste and pollution. According to Nielsen, 42% of Americans are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact, so it’s certainly worth the extra investment to carry eco-friendly products. Benjamin Moore Natura Waterborne Paint, for example, will demonstrate your business’ eco-commitment in a powerful way. And since manufacturers are always working on new and improved formulas and product lines, be sure to stay educated, and connect with like-minded distributors and sales reps whenever possible.
- Participate in Earth Day: April 22 will mark the 46th edition of Earth Day. When it comes to promoting your passion for the health of the planet, there’s no better way than participating. As a leader in your community you have the responsibility to organize activities, give to the cause or (at the very least) help spread the word. Whether you host an Earth Day event or start a fundraising initiative, it will show the public that your company cares not only about your immediate community but about the world as a whole.
- Practice What You Preach: In order for your brand to come across as eco-friendly, your shop has to be green internally, too. And it starts at the top. Leading by example, it’s important to make sure that your employees understand your eco-friendly initiatives and play their roles in promoting your company’s values. Customers should know without having to ask that you are making a conscious effort to be environmentally sustainable. For specific ways to create a greener environment, take a look at our previous post about Laying the Foundation For A Greener Workplace.
- Make Your Marketing Eco-friendly: From giveaways to event invitations and everything in between, your marketing materials are one of the most important ways to share your eco-friendly values with customers. Whether you choose recycled paper or seed paper for promotional products, or you opt for paperless marketing like e-blasts, digital newsletters or social media, practicing green marketing is a crucial part of sharing your company’s green message.
5. Promote Yourself As A Green Leader: Once you’ve made some significant changes to your newly-improved brand, it’s time to promote yourself as a “green” leader in the paint and decorating industry. Not only will this solidify your commitment to being socially responsible, but it will help establish your company’s expertise and set you apart from the competition. Whether you attend eco-friendly professional development seminars (or even host them!) or organize a community clean-up day, it’s important to tell show the world that your business is taking positive steps to make the planet a cleaner and greener place to live – and encouraging others to do the same!