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CREDO Mobile’s Marketing Strategy–Focus on AT&T and Verizon’s Anti-Environmental Contributions

Scott Cooney | Thursday May 6th, 2010 | 8 Comments

CREDO Mobile, the telecommunications company that donates a portion of its proceeds to progressive causes, is running a special promotion this week that ends Friday, May 7th.  It’s actually a heckuva promo.  Free Blackberry Curve, up to $200 to buy you out of your current contract, and 25% off your bill for the first 12 months.  I know this because, as a former customer, I’m on Credo’s email list.

In this promotion, I found the email particularly intriguing.  It cuts right to the chase:

  • If you’re with AT&T, you should know that since 1998, they’ve contributed $23,000 to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who “favors the death penalty” for abortion providers; as well as $9,000 since 2007 to Representative Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who recently compared the Gulf Coast oil spill to “chocolate milk.”
  • If you’re with Verizon Wireless, you should know they’ve donated to the Texas Freedom Fund, which supports politicians like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and earlier this month took sides in California’s gubernatorial election by donating $10,000 to Meg Whitman.

In contrast, CREDO Mobile fights for the causes you believe in. Since 1985 we’ve donated more than $65 million to progressive nonprofits like Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood, Global Fund for Women, Earthjustice and the ACLU.

Now, I’m a progressive guy.  I know that Michelle Bachmann may perhaps be the most insane (and evil) politician ever to exist.  (No, really, she even puts Sarah Palin to shame in terms of naivety and awe-inspiring myopia).  I support the same groups CREDO does, like Planned Parenthood International, which I wrote in a former post was perhaps the absolute most effective use of any donation money I could make to a non-profit for long term global sustainability.  All of which begs the question:

Why am I a former customer?  In the case of CREDO, I let my membership lapse because I found a better deal.  I know.  I’m a jerk.  But at the time, CREDO was offering only plans that were limited in minutes.  I had gone over and racked up consecutive bills of $300+ for several months running.  But I’ve always wanted to return to CREDO.  Upon seeing the email I referred to above, I followed the link to the CREDO site and found the following ad:

I was pleased that I did not see my current cell provider on the “dirty duo” list, but, of course, I know it’s probably not much better that those–and certainly not as forthcoming as CREDO.

But I also didn’t see how much switching would cost me.  And that’s something that’s stopped me several times from joining CREDO.

Scrolling to the next page, following the link that says “Plans,” I found, to my pleasure, that CREDO now offers an unlimited plan–but it’s the same price my current provider charges.

NOW WE’RE TALKING!

My good friend Bill Roth, a 3p writer and sustainability strategy advisor to businesses, wrote in his book The Green Secret Sauce that businesses should seek “cost less, mean more” solutions, meaning that if green products cost less than conventional ones, the tipping point will be reached and our course toward a green economy will be completely secured.

I don’t necessarily agree with Bill on this.  I think a more apropos solution might be “same cost, more benefit.”  If price competitive, the choice for most consumers, I think, would be to go green and healthy with their purchasing decisions.  But his point is a brilliant one.  Enough customers will still purchase based on price that unless green products are, well, at least really close on price, the path to a sustainable future will continue to proceed slower than it needs to.

CREDO has now achieved price parity, service parity, and more benefit with its competitors.  My apologies to CREDO if they’ve been offering similarly priced plans for a while now.  I would have switched much earlier if I’d known.  But count me in for this promotion, and as long as you continue to offer a “same cost, more benefit” solution, I’m all yours.  Perhaps mentioning that in the main email you send to the already progressive members of your email list?  We already know you’re cool.  Tell us you’re price competitive, too, and you might see a better conversion rate!

***

Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill).

Follow Scott on Twitter.


▼▼▼      8 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • http://www.earth2017.com Bill Roth

    Hi Scott, as always your insights are telling and on target. You are absolutely right that price parity is the key to green sales growth. Market research says 85% of consumers will buy the more sustainable product vs. the less sustainable price if the price for each is equal.

    The “cost less, mean more” concept comes from what consumers say they want. Achieving this result is the “end game” for the sustainable economy.

    The key point is that the green companies achieving year over year sales growth have a competitive pricing strategy. They have a clear grasp of what it means to be price competitive and they are executing a strategy to achieve (or maintain) this competitive positioning.

    This maturation of green business is another sign that the Green Economic Revolution is happening and my economic analysis that projects by 2017 we will have a $10 trillion global sustainable economy, thus my reason for naming my website Earth 2017 http://www.earth2017.com

  • nickaster

    One question I have about Credo – since they don't have their own network, aren't you ending up using AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and whoever's available via Credo? Or is there some cell tower network I'm not aware of?

  • scottcooney

    They do use Sprint, but Sprint is the lesser of evils between AT&T and Verizon, etc., at least on a corporate social responsibility level. But I think that being a CREDO supporter is important in that eventually, they may have their own network. And, heck, if you're going to use one of the big three anyway, why not cut CREDO into the mix, so long as it's not costing you anything? They've donated $65 million to the causes I believe in. For me, end of story.

  • RP Siegel

    Please note recent post about sustainability initiative at Verizon.
    http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/04/verizon-lau

  • http://www.earth2017.com Bill Roth

    Hi Scott, as always your insights are telling and on target. You are absolutely right that price parity is the key to green sales growth. Market research says 85% of consumers will buy the more sustainable product vs. the less sustainable price if the price for each is equal.

    The “cost less, mean more” concept comes from what consumers say they want. Achieving this result is the “end game” for the sustainable economy.

    The key point is that the green companies achieving year over year sales growth have a competitive pricing strategy. They have a clear grasp of what it means to be price competitive and they are executing a strategy to achieve (or maintain) this competitive positioning.

    This maturation of green business is another sign that the Green Economic Revolution is happening and my economic analysis that projects by 2017 we will have a $10 trillion global sustainable economy, thus my reason for naming my website Earth 2017 http://www.earth2017.com

  • nickaster

    One question I have about Credo – since they don't have their own network, aren't you ending up using AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and whoever's available via Credo? Or is there some cell tower network I'm not aware of?

  • scottcooney

    They do use Sprint, but Sprint is the lesser of evils between AT&T and Verizon, etc., at least on a corporate social responsibility level. But I think that being a CREDO supporter is important in that eventually, they may have their own network. And, heck, if you're going to use one of the big three anyway, why not cut CREDO into the mix, so long as it's not costing you anything? They've donated $65 million to the causes I believe in. For me, end of story.

  • RP Siegel

    Please note recent post about sustainability initiative at Verizon.
    http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/04/verizon-lau

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