Can you find a building service contractor that doesn’t offer green cleaning, or environmentally friendly service and products?

It’s time for the me-too bandwagon.

First movers (those committed to green cleaning early) are likely seeing less benefit from being first now that everyone else is in it.

Being first gave firms a head start refining services, working out profitability, with the hopes of capturing lots of new business.

But with the current availability of green how-to information (LEED, USBGC, ISO-14000, Green Seal, etc.) latecomers can ramp up fairly quickly. Doesn’t matter if they have limited green experience. Their marketing efforts tell customers they’re green.

And that leads to a strategic question of the moment.

Is green a competitive advantage now?

My take is no.

Green is now a requirement.

Like having a safety program, online training, or managing quality control with technology.

If you don’t have these, you’re probably not the most competitive. It doesn’t mean you’re not in business. But you may not be in a year or two. Same for having green services. Better have ’em now, than not.

Does green guarantee more business?

As you’ve guessed, green services can add incremental business. Or help you compete and keep a portion of what you already have.

Customers are the Driver

The driver is how fast customers buy green. Literally, how fast will they spend more to be green.

To understand how that evolves, I came up with the Green Adoption Lifecycle. OK, I didn’t create it, but adapted it from the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, read more here.

As long as green services cost more than traditional ones and there’s no legal requirement, customers will get there when they get there. And that will happen along the lines of the Green Adoption Lifecycle.

The Lesson

Be green now, and really good at it. And look for the next competitive advantage coming down the pike. I have an idea what that may be.

Look for next week’s our upcoming blog
What’s Next: The Triple Bottom Line”

~~~~~~

Chris Arlen
President, Service Performance

Technorati: communication, green cleaning, marketing

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