Friday, October 17, 2008

Creating a green product line in your business

With the rise in environmental awareness among consumers, many companies are scrambling to add a green product line to their selection. Even B2B companies are feeling the pinch, as more companies want to show their green side to business clients.

So how do you start a green line in your business? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Look at what you already have. Are any of your products made from recycled materials? Are any of them fully recyclable? Do you have products made from earth friendly formulas, like natural citrus oil cleaners or herb-filled heat wraps? Green doesn't have to mean 100% organic and recycled...there are different levels. Pretty much whenever your product is safer, cleaner, lower in energy use or could be considered a realistic part of the "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." triad, you have a potentially green item to promote.

  • What about your services and processes? Many businesses have employed greener practices as part of their services, manufacturing processes or in-house procedures. You may have made the change for economic reasons, but the effect is greener business. Highlight those choices in your advertising, catalogs, web sites or blogs. Mention the fact that your widgets are made in a factory that recycles 80% of its manufacturing waste. Or that the restaurant is using all natural cleaners and biodegradable paper goods. It won't change the composition of the final product, but it does make your goods arguably greener.

  • Look for greener choices to add to existing product lines. If your company sells business paper goods, find some recycled papers to add to the catalog or website.

  • Use a logo or other symbol to mark the green items. Or create an insert or special landing page that features your new and existing green products. You don't have to have a lot of green choices to make a statement, and a difference.

  • Keep up on green trends in your industry. Make a point of researching changes in practices or products in your industry. As you can, add new green items, incorporate greener practices, make green choices in new construction or equipment purchases and let your customers know what you're doing.