I have fallen in love, again! Yesterday I wrote about Amanda West, an entrepreneur that has created the first healthy fast food restaurant. My heart belongs to the entrepreneurs and businesses across America figuring out how to grow revenues by selling products that are good for our people and our planet. My newest love interest is a company called INDIGOGreen created by Liberty Phoenix Lord and Mike Amish. It’s a hardware store. In practice, it is an educational/engagement center helping the people of Gainesville, Florida, figure out how to live a healthier life.
As a business person let me cut to the numbers: “INDIGOGreen has been extremely well received by our community. Our revenues have doubled even in this depressed economy,” Liberty proudly notes.
The company’s business success is representative of two best practices I call “Know it, Embrace it” and “Prove it, Conclusively” identified in my book, The Secret Green Sauce that profiles companies like INDIGOGreen that are growing green revenues. Here’s what their website says to its customers about figuring out what to buy: “Green is very difficult to define.” That very honest admission is supported by the market research I’ve seen documenting:
- Most consumers are trying to figure out for themselves what green means to them and what products/services they should be buying
- For most consumers this is NOT about “being green” but rather it is a search for improvements in their health, wellness and future and that of their loved ones
My network of companies that are successfully growing revenues are using a “Know it, Embrace it” marketing outreach strategy that aligns with, and enables, the consumer’s process of learning (Know it), experimentation and then procurement (Embrace it).
INDIGOGreen’s application of this type of strategy is to create a place where the community can learn about topics of sustainability and about products that are healthier for them and the planet. Their implementation path includes a multi-tier outreach effort of:
- in-store educational special events featuring a product or health issue
- an informed staff capable of answering consumer questions on how a product impacts their health, wellness and budget plus
- a web site that I found to be refreshingly candid on the issues and suggested solutions.
Indigo is winning customers with honest, candid and valuable information delivered to their customers in a format that satisfies the customer’s need to first “know it” before they then “embrace it.”
The company also has a candid, honest and insightful branding strategy reflective of the “Prove it, Conclusively” best practice. Here’s a quote from INDIGOGreen’s website: “There are many ways to qualify a product or company by a set of standards only you will be able to define. At INDIGOGreen our standards are products that either are made from a rapidly renewable resource, is FSC certified, NO added Formaldehyde, Recycled, Repurposed, VOC Free, not made in China, and many more.”
Market research says consumers are searching for brands (and companies) that they can trust–companies that are looking out for their interests. INDIGOGreen’s branding strategy for addressing consumer uncertainty about “what is green” is built upon candid transparency that is supplemented with a range of product offerings that affords their customer a customized implementation path for defining how to best be green. A recent market research study identified over 300 “green certificates” but tellingly only two brand images, Energy Star and Green Recycling, have, to date, established broad consumer recall. INDIGOGreen has achieved brand credibility not through a logo or a certification process but rather through honesty, candor and transparent sharing of information. In effect, they have achieved brand credibility through their entire customer relationship system.
Its success and its key best practices are captured by Liberty’s telling quote, “Our focus is upon health.” What a competitive advantage in marketing and branding as consumers advance through their customized maturation process of learning, experimentation and procurement in search of how to embrace sustainability’s potential for delivering enhanced health and wellness into their lives, community and environment. And what a path for growth, as Liberty envisions, “Look for an INDIGOGreen in your town very soon!”
You’ve got to love the American entrepreneur and their creative enthusiasm for making money and a positive difference.