Monday, January 5, 2015

Go for Greed over Green

A clear sign that your new hire for the selling team won’t work out: While shoppers are browsing around, the new hire is wearing earbuds and gyrating to a rhythm completely divorced from any background music you might have playing in the store.
     But even without the earbuds or gyrations, if that new hire—or any other of your staff—is spending lots of time tuned to station WII FM, it’s trouble. WII FM is “What’s In It For Me?” Our focus should be on the shopper. We win our payoffs by fulfilling consumers’ needs and wants.
     From the shopper side of the transaction, though, WII FM is to be expected. We should continually be asking ourselves, “What’s in it for the consumer?” Regarding environmental conscientiousness, the answer is closer to greed than to green. Researchers at Yale University described to study participants a company’s intention to update a line of household cleaning products. Some of the participants were told that the company’s primary objective was to make the products better for the environment. The others were told that the product developers had discovered that a side benefit of the updates was that the products would be better for the environment.
     Those participants told the green gain was unintentional, not the main objective, were more likely than the other group to predict that they’d buy the product.
     Cleaning effectiveness is more important to consumers than is their going green with cleaning products. This is not to say you should downplay the benefits to the environment of products and services you sell. A University of Indiana analysis of 75 product introductions during the years 2009 through 2009 indicates that green claims improve the attractiveness of offerings and of the stores carrying them. Instead, the message is to emphasize quality advantages to the purchaser over sustainability advantages to the environment.
     A few years ago, the initial marketing thrust for Bardessono Hotel & Spa, a boutique hotel in California’s Napa Valley, was broadcasting the place’s platinum environmental credentials. But consumers seeking luxury understood the word “green” here to mean sparse and uncomfortable. As a result, it was the hotel bookings that turned out to be sparse, making the owners highly uncomfortable.
     Now the Bardessono website gives equal billing to the Leed Platinum environmental award and the 2014 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Hotels in San Francisco & Northern California.”

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Claim Effectiveness over Environmentalism 
Hook Going Green to the Excitement of Nature

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