Why share your green? Sustainability in action will build customer loyalty to your company
By Marla Esser Cloos
Focusing on your company’s values, and how they are portrayed in your communications and media can play a big part in attracting your ideal clients. While it is important to talk about how your products or services are green and sustainable, your clients– especially first-time homeowners and millennials –want to know more about your company’s values and about what actions your company takes to support a green, sustainable future. That sort of “doing as you say” is an opportunity to build loyalty by showing your company’s integrity and the values expressed in your business and beyond.
Sharing your company’s values distinguishes you by doing something different, something brave. Your company can be recognized as a leader. By distinguishing your company, you create an opportunity to attract your ideal clients – the people who believe in the same values and need your solution.
The first step is to understand and document your company’s values. This often is what fills up a company’s “About Us” section of the website or company brochure. Company values may be represented by organizations and movements that your company supports and gives back through, personal beliefs of its founder(s) and leadership, and ways the company seeks to make a difference in the population it serves – the community where it is located or a larger stage.
Connecting With Your Ideal Client
Your ideal client is hopefully already identified, described, and understood. Going beyond basic demographics will help your company have better insights into your ideal client and what values are likely to be important to them.
For instance, say your ideal clients are young families buying their first home. They typically have two jobs, elementary-school-aged or younger children, and regularly shop for organic food. It is likely they spend most of their free time involved with their children’s school and activities.
Let us say one of your company’s values is being a part of the community where you offer services or products. Opportunities abound for your company to support schools in your community, community gardens with plots for families, and alternative food sources like farmers’ markets and coops. By being where your ideal clients are and sharing the values you both have, you now have the opportunity to connect. Connection can provide opportunity to offer your services, although it is important not to use your involvement as a ploy to outright market or sell. This is all about building connection with people who share the same values as your company.
Doing as You Say
Doing as you say is a way for you to inspire and educate your potential clients, your ideal clients. It starts with doing – doing service in the community, doing education programs, and showing how your experience doing helps you to help your clients. Your clients see the value in learning from you. What kinds of things does your company do?
Is your community active in community service? Does your company embrace green business practices in your office, your operations, and your offerings? Is your company transparent about the work it does? If there are things your company is working on improving, let people share the journey with you and learn from your experience.
Saying What You Do
Now that your company understands the value of doing and connecting with your ideal clients through your service and experiences, sharing this news helps inform people about your company outside of your offerings. This is how you let your ideal clients know you have values in common.
If you have a marketing, communications, and/ or PR team, be sure to let them know about your community activities and involvement and share it. Share it in your newsletters and social media. Be sure to tag the groups you are serving or working with so that your communities can connect. If your community involvement offers opportunities for people outside your company to get involved, let them know how to get involved. Sponsorships and support do show your company’s financial support of causes your company embraces, but people being involved can show even more. It shows the people side of your company and your commitment to
the values you hold dear and share with your ideal clients.
Find resources and more ideas in these two blog posts on my website greenhomecoach.com/doing-as-you-say and greenhomecoach.com/walking-the-talk/. Drop me a line to share what resources and tips your company is using to green up your operations and outreach as part of doing what you say.
Marla Esser Cloos, NAHB Master CGP and LEED AP, is the owner of Green Home Coach, which helps align design, remodel, or new build home projects with the green home certification process and inspires people to better homes. She can be reached at Marla@GreenHomeCoach.com or 877-828-1827.