Green is the new color of clean, but it takes more than eco-friendliness to attract (and keep) environmentally-conscious customers to a green cleaning business
From cars to computers to cooking and cleaning products, there is an indisputable push for environmentally-friendly commodities and services. As evidence, a study by Packaged Facts indicated that sales of eco-friendly cleaning products increased from $303 million to $640 between 2007 and 2011. Six years on, those numbers have only continued to increase.
But an increase in product sales doesn’t necessarily translate to a successful green cleaning business. For that, you’ll need more than just sustainable products. You’ll need a marketing strategy. You’ll need to practice what you preach. Most of all, you’ll need customers. And positioning yourself as a green cleaning business won’t be enough to attract them.
6 Ways to get the word out about your green cleaning business
1. Know yourself
“Green” means a lot of different things to different people. In general, green suggests an environmentally-conscious approach to business, but beyond that, there’s not much definition. It could mean you use green cleaning products. It could mean you enforce practices that save water or energy. It could just mean that you recycle.
So the first step to marketing your green cleaning business is to know what green means to you. Spend some time listing all the green practices you plan to undertake, then outline some of them in your marketing. This will give your company more definition, which is more likely to attract the right customers.
2. Know your audience
However you define green in your marketing strategy, it’s also important that you consider what’s important to your customers. The number one concern that most businesses have about going green is the cost. If you focus too much on clean green instead of money green, you may lose some would-be customers from the start.
So while you’re touting your green cleaning business and your sustainable offering, make sure you touch on both quality and affordability. Reassure customers that green doesn’t mean lower quality, and higher cost doesn’t mean unaffordable. The bottom line is that if a company feels they are getting their money’s worth, they’re much more likely to consider going green not only for the health and welfare of their people, but also because going green will make their businesses look more attractive to their clients.
3. Lead by example
One of the most powerful marketing tools out there is to embrace your products and services and use them in your own office. It demonstrates how much you believe in your offering, and in the case of a green cleaning business, it gives you some evidence of the value of going green. Take prospective clients on a walk-through of your facility, show them how green cleaning practices benefit your office. Where possible, share some numbers with clients about the affordability of green cleaning, or if you have some statistics on how eco-friendliness has affected employees’ lives, share that as well.
If one person does something, others will at least be curious. Pique the interest of your target audience to start conversations and generate leads. Get them asking questions about your own experience, and you’ll be able to give them more peace of mind about theirs.
4. Tell the truth
It seems like it should go without saying, but it’s tempting in the “green” industry to stretch the truth about your company’s “greenness” to attract more customers. This is a huge no-no. Whether you’re claiming natural products and then using traditional products, or whether you’re saying you don’t use certain ingredients when in fact you do, eventually people are going to find out. And once you’re found out, you’re done for.
5. Don’t forget the branding
Finally, remember that if you want to attract customers to your new green cleaning business, you need a brand that aligns with your practices. Short, catchy names and slogans like “Green is the New Clean,” “Clean Green,” or “Green Planet Cleaners” all communicate green practices while also diverting from more traditional, static names. Create a logo in greens, blues, and yellows with subtle drawings of leaves or trees or lakes, and people will know immediately that you are a green cleaning business.
6. Give a little back
Building a green cleaning business is about more than the products you use. It’s about promoting sustainability to your customers and your community. Do so by giving back. Offer a discount to first-time customers who agree to six months of green cleaning. Donate to local charities. Host a charity day where you and your staff volunteer in the community.
The point is that a central component to eco-friendly anything is a connection and working together. If you want to be a green cleaning business just because it seems that’s the direction the industry is headed, you won’t get very far. A genuine interest in the health of the environment and the people who live in it is required in order for any sustainable business to be, well, sustainable.