Helen Lord, Founder and Director of Used Kitchen Exchange shares her views on environmental issues

Sir David Attenborough, Broadcaster, Naturalist and Kitchen Industry Hero!

Not since ‘Who Shot JR’ has there been such a wave of public interest generated by a Television programme. Since the ‘world-jolting’ screening of Blue Plant II public awareness of environmental issues has hit fever pitch putting pressure on the consumer marketplace to make big and immediate changes.

A few days ago I had to ‘ask’ for a straw in McDonalds and then sort my waste out into recyclables and non-recyclables. To be honest, I was really happy to do this – it gave me a genuine feeling that I was ‘doing my bit’ to help the environment – It felt really good!

Making this level of emotional attachment to a business has been a utopia for Marketing gurus for many years, yet over night it has been achieved for many savvy businesses by acting swiftly to public demand.

To consider, when writing our marketing strategies, we spend hours pouring over our PAMs, our persona groups, look at ways of increasing our market share, ROI and establishing our brand… the list is endless – couple this with the fact that when bottom line results need improving the natural response is to reduce spend on the ‘nice to haves’ like advertising and PR.

So are we all missing a trick – can we too ride this ‘Blue Planet Wave’?

I believe it is fair to say that up until now smaller companies have consider environmental issues outside of their control – We all know about climate change, polar ice caps melting and the rainforest being destroyed, but to be honest, have you ever considered that these issues could actually help your business grow and improve your profits?

Thanks to the ‘Blue Planet Effect’ sustainability and environmental thinking has reached all of us, not just Environmentalists, Pop Stars and Academics. It now matters to all of us, and that includes your customers.

So I believe it’s time to ‘do things differently’

As my trip to McDonalds proves, helping me make the right choice made me ‘feel good’. I felt a warmth and positivity towards this fast food outlet that superseded any feelings of guilt at my poor nutritional choice for lunch! The power of this cannot be underestimated.

It is pertinent here to note here that most people do not like being wasteful. Spending money on a new kitchen when they have a perfectly serviceable one at home can give rise to genuine feelings of guilt – I bet many of you have CD’s and LP’s in your loft and not necessarily for nostalgic reasons either, but because they cost you a fortune at the time!

Offering your customers a reduction in their carbon footprint by regenerating their old kitchen will differentiate you from competitors, reduce the need for a point of a sale discount and ensure yourbvcustomers love you that bit more than they do already.

So, in the words of the Beach Boys, keep ‘those good vibrations’ alive in your showroom by riding this perfect wave of environmental positivity – its good for business!

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