Have a ‘green’ business idea? It being just ‘green’ will not make it a brand. – Part 2

 

eco-friendly

 

In Part 1 of the same article – Have a ‘green’ business idea? It being just ‘green’ will not make it a brand. – we covered that it is not necessary that any business which is a sustainable business will survive through, without any difficulty and become a successful brand. We also spoke about how a business owner needs to have a “brand” vision for it and what all he needs to be prepared with to face challenges that pop up in any entrepreneurial journey.

 

We then covered an interview with the owners of one of Brand Launch Centre’s client Green Salute and their business graph from a noble business idea to identifying what should the stand for to it become a brand that consumers would want to be associated with.

 

Here, in Part 2, we will talk in-depth about how to encash upon the USP of being a sustainable business and how they need to offer value to consumers by co-creating it with their consumers themselves.

 

It later covers about one such business, namely Noble Exchange, that’s striving hard to get together the eco-system that’s required to run the business of waste management followed by a comprehensive video interview with its Founder & CEO.

 

The category is the answer to – what’s your USP, but is that enough?

 

Green marketing is a CSR that almost every organization has adopted, while for many it is also a way of doing business. The global strain on our planet and environment, coupled with a consumer desire to choose eco-friendly products for healthier living, creates opportunities and encourages these businesses to not only operate subtly, but brand themselves and go all out to gain awareness.

 

Having a product or service that uses less energy or produces less waste than a traditional method is a great differentiator.

 

Aligning a business with eco-friendly practices is a great selling point itself. The brand’s persona is itself defined when terms like Low-energy solution, sustainable product, non-toxic ingredients, low waste (or emissions), chemical free, recycled materials becomes a brand’s sound bytes.

 

As any other brand, customer co-creation is equally important for green brands too. As the marketing studies mentioned so far indicate, when consumers believe that they actually can affect a social or environmental cause with their purchasing behavior and power.

 

Co-creation of Value

 

Customer co-creation is a potentially powerful way to create emotional ties with customers by bringing them into the process of brand building. The idea of co-creation of value has its roots in the service literature, and has recently gained popularity through Internet models of serving customers that have enhanced interactive relationships.

 

The essential idea of co-creation is that customers are integrated into the process of product development and sales so that the final products actually reflect their real-time preferences.

 

This helps in creating the value that customers are looking for.

 

But how do brands know that they are creating value?

 

Through analyzing if the brand is solving any problem. In this life today, with customers juggling with priorities and responsibilities, it is unfair to even think that they would react to just a good looking visual or a quirky line, specially when there a dime a dozens of such.

 

What clicks or what gets the attention today is what problem is the brand solving for them. It is rather a brand’s moon shot to impact and change the behavior of the customer its targeting and getting him to use their product or service. Whereas, if brands know their customers, know what they do, like, hate, desire, nothing is stopping them to be present on their way, ofcourse with a strong promise.

 

One of the biggest problem today is carbon emission which has grown over past years. With increase in the number of vehicles and reducing trees the impurities in the air have become fatal. A lot is already being done to save the environment, make the air purer, reduce emissions but a lot of it is still to be done.

 

Food waste is one such pollution, that we all contribute to, daily, multiple times. Current systems in India cannot cope with the volumes of waste generated by an increasing urban population, which is impacting the environment and public health. A priority is to move from reliance on waste dumps that offer no environmental protection, to waste management systems that retain and renew useful resources. In all this, waste segregation at source and use of specialized waste processing facilities to separate recyclable materials plays a key role. The potential for energy generation from landfill via methane extraction or thermal treatment is a major opportunity, but a key barrier is the shortage of qualified engineers and environmental professionals with the experience to deliver improved waste management systems in India and the willingness to take this up as a business is missing.

 

The challenges and barriers are significant, but so are the opportunities. How?

 

One would question how are there opportunities in “waste management” and pertaining to the earlier part of the article on co-creating value, how do the same consumers be co-creating this when they are the ones creating this!

 

As much as we would like to call it “waste”, it is actually a resource easily available to us that can be converted into energy. It can be converted into fuel or Bio CNG on which the vehicles can cruise without adversely affecting the environment. And it’s the same consumers who will use it. Thus completing the cycle.

 

This is where co-creation of value is important. For consumers to be motivated to segregate the waste and then use the Biogas that is created out of it, they need to understand what is in it for them. Although this is something that is quite obvious, but to engage the consumers the task lies in making them see the business as a brand that they will be happy to be associated with.

 

Promises like eco-friendly or contributing towards the environment have become rational. These eco-friendly businesses need to dig out the emotionale that they want to stand for which strikes a chord with the consumers.

 

One such organization names Noble Exchange is working steadily towards this opportunity. With a world class plant set up in Talegaon, near Pune Noble Exchange has been converting food waste into Bio CNG. Pune Municipal Corporation has a played a very big role by making well segregated feed stock available to Noble Exchange. The practice of segregating the waste at household level and at public places has facilitated the noble cause. Having said that, there is still a lot of scope for improvisation.

 

Another achievement for Noble Exchange has been the adoption of NEX’s Bio CNG by Tata Motors, which makes Tata Motors to have the first comprehensive range f Bio CNG vehicles in India.

 

Watch Mr. Nuriel Pezarker speak about his efforts in the area of waste management and his emphasis on end consumers being an important part of the eco-system.

 

 

 

July 14, 2017Sonam Srivastava, Brand Consultant, Brand Launch Centre