TerraCycle produces very cool consumer products from recycled food packaging. But for businesses trying to grow revenues in this “soft recovery” the coolest thing about TerraCycle is its creative business strategies for generating top-line revenue results with attractive profit margins.
How it engage its customers is what makes TerraCycle’s strategy unique. For example, it “up-cycles” Capri Sun wrappers to create products like pencil holders that target the very school children who are the principal consumers of Capri Sun juices. Its customer engagement program involves encouraging school children to collect the wrappers as a fund raiser for their school and a path for learning about recycling. Beyond this being a brilliant social marketing example it also makes money. From a production-cycle perspective, TerraCycle takes a zero-cost waste stream and converts it into a product with attractive margins.
However, for entrepreneurs and business leaders seeking revenue growth, the highest value offered by TerraCycle is its “how to” business growth best practices. Here’s what they are doing that every business seeking to grow green revenues should consider adopting:
- Price Competitiveness. Price, price, price are three keys to growing revenues. TerraCycle’s products often cost less, and never cost more, than competitor’s. Market research confirms that “cost less, mean more” is the super highway to winning customers that are increasingly seeking to align value with their values.
- Affiliate Branding. Consumers are trying to figure out what to buy and who to buy from. TerraCycle has a branding solution for big box retailers seeking to capture the increasing consumer focus upon responsible procurement. TerraCycle products are now featured in Walmart, The Home Depot, Target and Kmart. And they are a great branding solution for the products whose packaging is generating the waste stream. TerraCycle has strategic branding affiliations with Frito-Lay, Cliff Bar and Mars. I know of businesses suffering from revenue erosion/stagnation during this “soft recovery” that would think they had died and gone to heaven if they had this level of success in product placement and affiliate-branding success. TerrraCycle is pointing the way on how going green can open sales doors.
- Social Marketing. This is the part of the TerraCycle strategy that is truly brilliant. It stimulates interest among its target market of kids and parents by engaging them in creating value through the recycling of food packaging. This is one of the best social marketing executions I am aware of. Much of social marketing is focused upon the use of new media which is warranted since there are now 142 million social media users in the United States and today 94% of U.S. online shoppers conduct research prior to making a purchase. But the key point is that social marketing is about engaging people. What TerraCycle has structured is a marketing process that truly involves its customers in creating solutions that are achieving measurable results for their community, their school and environment. When they buy a TerraCycle product they experience the joy of buying something they helped to create. That is the definition of social marketing in business.
If your business is seeking top line revenue results please keep an eye on TerraCycle’s execution of its business strategy. It reports having 8 MILLION “ambassadors” covering 60,000 locations across the United States involved in executing its vision. TerraCycle’s strategy for leveraging competitive pricing, sustainability and social media is a model-path for the restoration of our jobs, our economy and environment.
Bill Roth is the founder of EARTH 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce.