Even in this economy these products are achieving double-digit annual revenue growth:
• Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffees are winning 100% annual revenue growth
• Green household cleaners have achieved 229% revenue growth since 2005
• In 2009 Organic Apparel/Home Textiles achieved 35% revenue growth.
Two key market segments driving this revenue growth are the Millennial Generation and their moms, Concerned Caregivers, that are searching for products that offers “on me, around me, in me” solutions. This “Awareness Customer” market segment has $10 billion of annual buying power!
There is a “Secret Green Sauce” to building business success with the Awareness Customer. The first key ingredient is price. Market research has documented that 85% of consumers will buy the more sustainable good or service versus the less sustainable alternative IF their prices are the same. The companies that are achieving explosive revenue growth have a pricing plan that is driving their product toward price parity with the less sustainable competing product. A great example is solar roof top market segment that has achieved approximately 50% price reductions over the last four years with the most successful companies deploying an ongoing efficiency plan for reducing costs down to electric utility price parity.
The second key ingredient is “Prove It, Conclusively” branding. Market research has conclusively documented that customers are confused on what to buy and who to buy from. This opens the door to revenue growth success for an early stage company that can win brand positioning as being genuinely sustainable in their business practices and their products’ or services’ authenticity. The classic example of success in this space is Clorox’s Green Works, the first green consumer product to reach $100 million annual revenues. Green Works aligns with SIX different third party affiliations to convey a “Prove It, Conclusively” credibility alignment their targeted customers.
The third ingredient is the ability to connect with the experimenting, learning and then buying decision-making process being used by Awareness Customers. The adoption of sustainability is a maturation process where consumers begin by buying lower cost and lower risk products like CFL lights or concentrated organic laundry detergent. Then these customers use their experiences to move into more expensive sustainable goods and services. This is a “Know it, Embrace it” marketing path that is enabled by the Awareness Customers’ use of social media. Apple and Timberland are two of a growing number of companies that are developing social networks around their products that draw-in via social networking a growing number of new customers.
From serving as Entrepreneur.com’s Green Business Coach I have developed an international network of companies that are developing best practices for growing green revenues. I have captured key profiles of these best practices in my book, The Secret Green Sauce, outlining how to price, brand and market into the Awareness Customer market segment to win double digit revenue growth results!