posted June 21, 2009 | Views: 3831
Wow, the green machine is really rolling. We see it everywhere, from cars that are friendly to the environment to Wal-Mart bringing out a line of green jewelry. Many of us are seeing the green surfaces, but not much volume. Why is that? Well, the economy is a big reason. Many kitchen dealers are feeling the pinch. If you're not selling kitchens, then you're not selling countertops.
I think more can be done with KB dealers. They seem to be missing the boat when it comes to the green movement. I don't have numbers to back up my claim, but look around your area. How many KB dealers are promoting anything green?
Judging from the dealers I have talked with, many seem standoffish. I think much has to do with lack of knowledge about green surfaces and how they could benefit. Let's review a few points to help you convince your KB dealers that being part of the green movement is good for their business.
- You may think green products will not sell because they are too expensive. They do tend to be more expensive, but why not use it as an advantage? You're not competing with the box stores. Green surfaces are not a commodity like the other surfacing materials. Homer and Uncle Lowe are not yet forcing the green manufactures to lower their prices.
- Consumers requesting green have money to invest.. For the most part, they are more resistant to a recession than the vast majority of home owners. They may be looking for a company offering green products but can't find one. Encourage your KB dealers to be the first.
- Green in the KB world is still a niche industry, but those that want it will pay a higher price to feel safe in their homes. That translates into profit.
- Why not help recycle? Are we that shortsighted to see that using green products really may help the environment?
One of the biggest challenges to selling green is understanding which products are really green. To boil it down, there are two basic criteria for a green product. One is low emissions. You may have seen products that are certified as being a green guard product. These products guarantee low emissions of harmful chemicals. Then there are re-usable products. These don't go back into the waste stream or they use recyclables that before would have stayed in landfills such as glass bottles, plastics, wood, etc.
In the marketing of your company it's going to be very impressive to the green consumer that you're offering these products. It will show to them you are committed to helping not only the environment but you care about what is going into their homes.
The green movement will be a big part of the KB world, including countertops. Some will lead the pack, they'll have the edge in both recognition and sales. So the question is, how green are you?
About the author: Jon Olson is the production and operations manager for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling, Mass. He has been a solid surface fabricator since 1982 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org