Two mega-trends are combining to create a green economic revolution.
One mega-trend is social media. It is WE in action. Much of what is happening at your cash-register is now being shaped by individuals posting video, blogs, tweets and pictures on Facebook.
The smartphone is accelerating this mega-trend by putting the WE influence in the hands of consumers standing at the cash register!
The second mega trend is the adoption of “a WE buying pattern” by the Millennial Generation and their moms, the Concerned Caregivers.
Is lowest price still important. Yes, that will never change.
BUT, what is changing very rapidly is the WE’s collective-expectation for both competitive prices and alignment with values.
The Millennial Generation views sustainability as their future. They face economic and environmental fears that their future is being diminished. What can they do about it? Change what they buy and who they buy from.
ZipCar’s rapid growth has been from a Millennial Generation seeing a path of aligning value (lower car expenses) with their values (lower carbon footprint).
Organic milk has seen explosive sales growth despite its higher costs. This is the Millennial Generation and moms combining to create a demand for a product they view to be so important to health that they will pay a premium.
What does all this mean to business leaders and entrepreneurs?
Align or decline!
B2We is the sales path to growth.
Your business success will be dependent upon its ability to connect with consumers seeking smart, healthy and green solutions. It is a $10 trillion annual revenue opportunity emerging around the world!
One creative example is the national outreach program called Green Builds Business. It is being sponsored by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is being funded by Walmart. This program is connecting with business owners and leaders on the best green practices of pioneering CEOs and entrepreneurs.
Here’s FIVE ways for your business to successfully implement a B2We sales growth strategy:
- Authenticity. It begins here. You are naked! That is the reality of social media. If you have something to hide, forget it, “WE” will find it and report on it. If your marketing lacks authenticity then “WE” will report it as green washing.
- Self-candor. If you are naked then get buff! You have to look at your business from a mirror that reflects what the WE sees.
- Align. WE expects to see alignment. That means taking specific actions toward realizing their expectations for value and values. This is a two step process. First measure your value performance compared to the WE’s values. Then develop a product and operating strategy for realizing these WE values.
- Shape Up. Aligning with WE is a process. They won’t trust you at first. They will want to see evidence of your commitment. That’s good. That’s an opportunity to win competitive advantage. Learn, Do, And Then Do More. The WE will notice and what is really “cool” is that they will begin posting videos, tweets, Facebook pictures about your efforts. You are almost there!
- Join The WE! I saved this for last because you can’t join the WE unless you work through steps 1-4. But by implementing steps 1-4 your business will have changed. It will be part of the WE. Your revenues will be empowered by the WE opening connections for the sale of your products.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, a company helping businesses connect with customers seeking smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses making money going green.