Another potential source of credibility comes from co-branding opportunities with suppliers. However, be sure you are comfortable with the messaging and claims being made and that they do not counter the FTC guidelines.
As a final confirmation that your Green Team is on the right track, have the group test its messages against TerraChoice Environmental Marketing’s six green marketing sins discussed in part one of this series. This test should help weed out any accidental misstatements and ensure the validity of your claims.
Through brainstorming and message development, your Green Team will create a long list of current and potential claims. Even as you whittle the list down to work on the most important and relevant claims, don’t necessarily throw out the baby with the bathwater.
You may be able to use some of the additional ideas later, such as on a marketing poster in your lobby demonstrating the 101 things you are doing to help the environment. Remember that little things can add up, from selling greeting cards printed on recycled paper to asking customers if they need a receipt before you print it.
Supporting such practices with facts about the bigger picture can round out your messaging. Take receipts as an example. According to The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, “ATM receipts are one of the top sources of litter on the planet. If everyone in the United States left their receipts in the machine, it would save a roll of paper more than 2 billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times.”
That’s the sort of nugget that makes a tiny green idea seem pretty big. It tells the customer that you are doing a lot more than just using recycled products. It shows you’ve thought it through, done your homework and are thoroughly committed to going green. That just might give you a leg up on your competitor.
Brad Simonis is a principal with Metro International, a carwash consulting firm and distributor. The company offers expertise in site selection, layout, design, construction, operation and marketing of high-volume carwashes. To reach him, call 866.463.8723; visit www.metro-intl.net.