If you have been running a successful business for some time, you might be wondering about ways to increase sales or develop new products your target market might be interested in. One of the ways to expand your line while giving yourself the best chance of success is to consider "greening" your business, and/or the top sellers in your line of products and services.
The first step before taking any action is to determine whether or not your customers care about being green.
Are Your Customers Green?
In case you aren't sure whether your customers are interested in green issues, here's the good news. Studies have shown that 90% of all US consumers are interested in green issues, and take them into consideration when making a purchase.
The studies outline three distinct green consumer groups. Around 20% of the US market is considered "deep green", that is, greatly interested in green issues and with green motivations as their driving force.
Another 40% is "medium green", strongly influenced by green issues when they make purchasing decisions. Another 30% has shown some interest in green products if it makes sense for them to purchase them. Creating products that are low-risk to purchase because they are not overly costly is one way to lure these potential customers.
All three groups will be looking for products and services which do their job as good as or better than existing traditional products. If you can do this at a reasonable price, you can find committed consumers.
Survey Your Customers
If you are still not sure if your target market is interested in green products after reading those statistics, the best way to find out is to survey them. Use your email marketing list to send out a simple survey that you have created at Survey Monkey. Ask them if they would be interested in greener versions of your top products. Get them to rank their preferences so you know what to work on first.
Understand Green Issues
Also keep in mind that it is not enough to simply have products that you call "green". Green is also a mindset and group of values. For example, green is about sustainability, being organic, and often fair trade as well - in which suppliers from developing nations, for example, are fairly compensated for their produce and work, not just fobbed off with rock-bottom prices.
Other Ethical Considerations
Another set of ethical considerations to take into account might have to do with political orientation. For example, some people refuse to buy any products from certain countries because they do not feel that they wish to support those countries for various reasons, such as a poor human rights records, or concerns about safety and business ethics.
For example, many people in the US avoid anything made in China, both for political reasons and also for concerns over quality control. The dog food, baby formula, and Chinese steel industry scandals have made the American public very skittish about purchasing Chinese goods. Due to concerns over the balance of trade and preserving jobs in the US, many consumers are also now looking for "made in the USA" on the labels instead.
When labeling your products, be sure to be honest. The item might be made in the US but the raw materials might be sourced from one or more countries abroad.
Consumers are voting with their dollars more than ever now, so if you are interested in launching a green product line, be sure to check with your customers first to determine if they are interested in green products, and what is motivating that interest. In this way, you can cater to them with just the right new products and services and boost your profits.