Marketing

Published on August 27th, 2010 | by Jennifer Kaplan

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7 Questions For A Greener Competitive Advantage

If you’re like most business owners, you want to provide value to your customers in a way that gives you an edge over the competition. That means seizing opportunities to provide offerings that deliver more value to your customers than your competitors deliver.

Remember, your commitment to the environment is a competitive advantage. By being green, you can attract customers who value your environmental offerings.

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your competitive advantage with sustainable business practices ask yourself a few key questions that can help you identify additional green opportunities:

  1. Are there new customer segments that you can attract? Which customers will have a greater interest in your offerings? Consider how your green-ness will be attractive to customers you don’t currently serve. Can you now market to health-conscious consumers? Thrifty consumers? Practical consumers?
  2. How can you expand your products or services to meet the needs of new consumers or businesses that care about sustainability? Can you add a greater selection of green and Fair Trade products? Can you offer one-stop-shopping for green products such as office supplies or gardening supplies? How much do you need or want to shift your focus in order to attract each consumer segment?
  3. Can you increase your market share? Will your green efforts allow you to attract the competition’s customers?
  4. What new markets will open to you? If you are a B2B business, is there a consumer market you can now tap into? If you are a B2C business, is there a business market you might now be able to attract?
  5. Are there new product lines you can now offer? Can you release green line extensions of existing offerings? What about green services that are not available in your area? Is you business in a position to provide these services?
  6. Will going green improve your bottom line? Will it reduce your expenses? Allow you to take advantage of new tax conditions? Free up capital for other investments? Generate new profit centers or improve existing profit margins? Reduce governmental oversight or paperwork requirements?
  7. Are there new opportunities to influence your customers or your industry? Can you reduce demand for resources by steering your clients toward sustainable behavior?

Think about how going green creates value and think of all the opportunities it opens up. These are your new green opportunities.

Photo: Sxc.hu

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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .



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