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In this third and final part of developing a green car wash, we'll talk about marketing all of your green initiatives. The importance of marketing all aspects of your wash cannot be understated. Marketing can inform your customers of the advantages of doing business with you over the competition.
According to Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston's book Green to Gold, “the most successful green marketing starts with the traditional selling points — price, quality and performance — and only then mentions environmental attributes.”
Today, sealants are on the front line of that competitive environment. Operators are using their product offerings as a way to show consumers the advantage they offer. In the same way, letting customers know the green aspects of your wash can be just the differentiator for your location. It is important to inform customers of the steps you have taken to preserve the environment. Make sure you have a program that is meaningful before you launch the concept. When you are ready, your chemical supplier might provide you with helpful tools to get the message out.
Come up with a theme or tag line that will inform customers of your initiative. Possibly develop a character that becomes your spokes-figure for green (for example: a frog character or other iconic character that suggests green).
Review your point of sale signage. Replacing it with images that at first glance your customers know green is important at this location.
If your chemical supplier does not have a program for marketing of green products, you can find a supplier that does or develop a program of your own. Again, a word of caution; you must be able to back your claims. You might also need some help with the design of your point of sale elements. You want to send a positive message to your customers about the benefits of your wash. If you have a reclaim system, a sign stating so at the wash entrance can be effective.
You might provide a sign listing features in your wash that are eco-friendly to inform your customers of your commitment to the environment. Use receipts to communicate the message. Display ads in community newspapers are an inexpensive way to reach local customers. Plan events around Earth Day and offer specials.
Plan a launch of the improvements you made to your wash and get the community involved. Send messages to area schools offering your location for more eco-friendly fundraisers. Contact the media to let them know what your wash has done to preserve our natural resources. Establish a Wild Wednesday for instance, where a portion of the profit from that day’s washes will be donated to a local wildlife conservation group. Get local radio and TV coverage. They are hungry for local interest stories.
Update your website with information about your green initiatives. Leverage social media to gain “fans” for your site and offer specials. There are more than 500 million Facebook users. People are using it in droves. Twenty-eight percent of car wash users are under 40 years old. Nearly 80% of Facebook users are 40 years old or younger. This is a target that you shouldn’t ignore. Young people care about the future of our environment.
These are only a few of many ideas that can get your message out and drive increased revenue through your green initiative.
Vice President of Marketing, Lustra™ Car Care Products
For more information go to Lustrabear.com.