Keep your eye on the new laws that will change the way we position products and companies in California. It does give you hope while nothing changes in DC.
Keep your eye on the new laws that will change the way we position products and companies in California. It does give you hope while nothing changes in DC.
“No planet was harmed in the making of this building.” Nancy Mintie, Exec. Director, Uncommon Good
What a great way to start off Earth Day weekend at a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the earth-safe structure with social justice embedded into its walls. It’s a tangible reminder of vision and values of Uncommon Good – fostering idealism in education, medicine and the environment.
It took two years to complete the new building using techniques used 500 years ago and creating something that will function with very little water, energy, or effort for the next 500.
Many in the sustainable world still can’t get their head around “social justice” and the green movement. This project built in social justice by:
Other high points:
With so many positives, what needed to be sold? Everything! From the need of a new shelter, to the concept by CEDG-Design (sandbag buildings aren’t exactly the norm), to the location, to the regulators and checkpoints that would be needed on something this different. There was no lack of red tape with so many untried processors in the middle of an urban setting that didn’t fit standard building codes. And yet, two years later, here it stood.
Stop by for a visit and become part of the less is more movement.
Happy Earth Day!
“Live simply, so that all may simply live.”
St, Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) Foundress of the Sisters of Charity, USA, Speech given in the Diocese of Baltimore
I live in Orange County where water is a big topic mostly because it’s so close and so surfable. Just under the surface, however, is the other water topic — the lack of it.
Hurley, the purveyors of all things cool to surf, swim, or sun in — has made it their mission to improve the water coming into contact with those who buy their products. Their H2O campaign wins on all fronts for creating public awareness to save, clean, and use water wisely. By doing so we’ll preserve what we all love the most about Orange County – the ocean.
Last weekend I attended a four hour TALK session held at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. (That’s the place where the swallows return in smaller and smaller numbers each year.) I was interested in hearing more about the usual eco-water issues – how low it’s becoming in this desert region that depends on the Colorado River for the majority of its fresh water.
The glass half full approach.
Rather than focus on less water coming into the region, they focused on preserving what we do have. The resulting H2O campaign is brilliant, in color and delivery. Kudos.
First the color, it’s the blue of a day filled with promise and an ocean that never ends. Happy. Joyful. Energetic.
Second, the direct tie in with the Hurley “H” logo. A bigger brand would shun the idea of messing with the sacred, but Hurley went for it.
Third, the full-frontal public engagement with no excuses. This isn’t your Mad Men campaign — it’s heartfelt, authentic, and necessary. Lots of eco-campaigns strap on a green mission, this one connects and resonates deeply with the OC population that identifies itself as a surfer even if they’ve never been on a board.
Taking it to the streets.
The TALK day brought in speakers who spoke on the school water education programs, city planning, grease capture at restaurants, no-water landscapes, water filters… and then there was “the water shed.” I love a good double entendre, especially in advertising as it engages your brain over and over. This one made smile in delight.
The Water Shed is a mini-demo house on wheels. It folds up for transportation to the latest weekend event at the beach or school and unfolds to welcome participants to the reality of the energy it takes to move water in California – not find water, move water.
Moving water around the state takes up a big chunk of our energy resources. It’s not sitting on the surface like in Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes; Southern California sees rain once every six months – maybe.
Inside the water shed you use your own energy to pump a quart of water and then you get to choose where you want to use that water — for your lawn, a shower, or maybe water food you can eat… Suddenly, using native plants as a landscape instead of high-maintenance, water-sucking grass is looking like a great option.
Collateral that keeps on giving.
I’m not sure which came first, The Ecology Center or the Hurley H2O campaign, they are so inner twined — the Hurley logo isn’t stamped all over the center’s website, but that brilliant blue is the accent color on the site and on signage which is an active enough reminder of the Hurley presence.
I’ve seen a ton of collateral material over the 35 years I’ve been in marketing, but two things stood out more than the color – the monster pamphlet/poster and the “inside” of the T-shirt.
Can you call it a pamphlet when it’s 12″ by 18″? And look what happens when you take out the staples and reassemble. Will you ever forget that one (blue) steak takes 1200 gallons of water to produce again?
The shirt had a secret to tell, too. Once I had it home I noticed that there was more than just a size tag printed on the inside neck, but a whole story about the shirt which took 1 gallon of water to make vs. 500 gallons most T-shirts use.
The shirt became a live reminder of what is possible. Just like the super-sized steak, I’ll never put on a t-shirt again and not wonder how many gallons of water it took to produce. It made me go the next step and check out their manufacturing approach for their full clothing line.
Lastly, Hurley carries its intentions and brand to other shores with their clean water program; if a country doesn’t have clean water to drink, a filter with a five gallon bucket can provide it for up to 10 years. If you have to bring a gift to a host, bring one that can keep them alive.
Awareness is the first step.
As any seasoned marketer knows, awareness is the first step to a sale. If people don’t know what’s possible, they can’t buy it when they need it. Hurley with The Ecology Center, the Water Shed, the public school program, and the global Water program makes people aware of the water problem first, provides solutions next, and oh-by-the-way, we make cool clothes worn by Californian’s top trend setters – surfers.
Hurley understands what butters their bread — a clean ocean brings happy customers who want to be near it and wear their clothes. But they also have their priorities in the proper order of People and Planet and then Profit.
This is what Ecolutionary Selling looks like.
I went to see “Chasing Ice” this week to see and feel what it’s like to be next to an glacier while it’s calving off a slice of ice the size of Manhattan. If you can’t make it to the big screen, here’s the You Tube version.
It will give you an idea of what those in Qatar are tackling this week, and you’ll feel powerless as well… what can one person do. As the photographer, James Balog said,”I did what I could with what I know how to do.”
You’ll have to click on the link, the video won’t embed into this blog for some reason. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjeIpjhAqsM
Money can buy airtime, but can’t change deeply held opinions.
After $2 billion in advertising what have we learned about selling to those with entrenched ideas? The effective GOP game plan was to cluster bomb the field with fliers and mistruths close to the election time giving the opposing side little time to correct the wrong information. As Mark Twain wrote, “Lies will get half way around the world before the truth can get it’s shoes on.”
Make it stopppppp
The more often you heard a message, the more likely you are to believe it and then buy what they are selling. That is why the GOP kept pouring more and more last minute cash into media with the DEMs matching them until they both made a four-year old cry.
Message overkill won’t work on a business prospect, however, instead it makes them cry out for you to just go away – FAST and FOREVER.
What will work?
How do you get someone who is in love with their ideas, products, and services to try something different? How do we get the traditionally entrenched to go from NO to MAYBE to YES when it comes to sustainable products and services that they’ve never seen before?
According to a great article in Pacific Standard to move people off the their position first they have to experience their own ignorance. How researchers did that around hot political issues was by asking people to explain the mechanics of an issue — What exactly is single payer insurance or GMOs, or our energy policy? When people had to explain an issue and couldn’t, they moderated their own views and opened the door to new information. Read the full article here.
Ask for an explanation always instead of feelings.
When I was a new sales rep, one of the suggested strategies was to find out how your customer feels and then align yourself with them. If your opinions agree, that’s good, but it’s still not a sale. If their opinion is not yours and you counter it, you negate their feelings, lose the sale and probably the rights a second sales call. But if you ask for an explanation to soften the sale first…
After subjects tried (and usually failed) to explain a policy they judged as laudable or odious, they not only revised downward their level of true understanding, but also moderated their position on the issue. And those who reported the greatest decreases in understanding also showed the greatest degree of moderation. taken from Pacific Standard
Pew Research soften the political camps by putting out an 11 point quiz on really, REALLY basic questions surrounding this election. Go ahead and take the quiz, I’ll wait…..
How did you do? Regardless of how many you got right or wrong, the quiz and its results establishes how truely ignorant we all are even after $2 billion in “education.” Think about it, if $2 billion in repetitive ads can’t educate us, then how will one-time collateral material get a prospect over the hump?
Would a quiz/survey about the big picture of sustainability work for you? Now is the time to do it. We are all at the beginning of this green learning curve when it’s ok to admit we don’t know what we don’t know. Surely they provide more value calling your prospect over and over and over with the same soundbite.
Give it a shot and may the lines at your voting place be short.
Universities and colleges may have a top down pecking order, but that’s where the resemblance to business stops — while selling ideas to “a team” of individuals is tough, selling ideas to a “team of teams” takes a cultural revolution.
The business sale to a team of individuals means including in your proposal what each team member needs and secondly making sure your presentation is formatted to fit their receptors:
In business, the team is pretty clear cut — one person from each area bringing their one personality from which they view the process.
Team selling to another team — when the team members keep changing on both sides.
That’s the situation in the academic world when it comes to sustainable practices — those who want to sell their colleagues on mainstreaming sustainability are bumping into the team-selling-to-teams brick wall. To further complicate things, the team champions change from school to school. The initial activism might be coming from students or the faculty or the administration or operations. There was no conclusion as to which group was most effective to get the ball rolling, success was offered from all sides. Regardless of where the momentum started, however, it got stuck when the dots between silos of effort couldn’t connect.
The sustainable campus sale is moving, but not working…
In the corporate world of top-down management, if you sell the top person(s) they will command and control the rest of the sale throughout the institution. That works well in an established business with established employees and users, but a school has constant turnover of admin, faculty, staff, and students. Momentum gets lost as ‘start over’ efforts sap the energy out of the system. Add to this mix, the online culture of free-spirited contribution is coming in conflict with the fixed world of academic accomplishment. It’s a race to the future with our shoes stuck in the muddled past of that’s-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it.
How do we get this team to team sale unstuck? Understand the new rules.
This week, the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE.org) held its national conference in LA. It was a refreshing dip into how our future universities may look, teach, and operate. About 1700 administrators, faculty, operation staff, and students representing hundreds of colleges and universities debated on how to break the bricks and rebuild schools that are leaner, smarter, more agile, and more sustainable for a moving target economy.
Yet, as nimble and forward thinking as this group is, how to embed sustainable thinking throughout the campus culture continued to allude them. There were many one-off ideas that were working within each sector, but few ideas that brought the whole package together. Oh yeah, and then Hunter Lovins spoke…
Still with me? Are You Excited or Exiting?
If you’re still reading, by now you can see the layer upon layer of issues that are holding up real, embedded sustainability at our institutions. The desire for change is often met with the dire predictions that climate change is a done deal and by the way, so are we… It’s hard to be positive when the drive to bunker down seems more reasonable. The first step is to throw Albert and Margaret out and put Yoda in.
At AASHE, Einstein’s Definition of Insanity was quoted often: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It’s been overused as much as another go-to quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
We firmly agree that we can’t keep doing the same thing, and small groups can’t create a tipping point, only big group actions — maybe we should follow the other wise person with bad hair…
Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.
–YODA, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
We’ve been thinking too small – GO BIG. Look at everything from a campus-wide perspective and how a sustainable campus would function AFTER the world turns green. Clearly the top-down management framework isn’t working, so what kind of business model would replace it?
The “DO” game rules which will change the game.
Up until now, the teams selling to other teams were using small examples of one-off events, or they were arguably the R&D squad; but with the help of AASHE STARS and SEED Green Genome the ooey/gooey nature of change is being locked down fostering more meaningful team conversations.
STARS is the scorecard program for Universities, and SEED‘s Green Genome is the self-assessment tool for community colleges. Both offer checklists of doables when it comes to defining how sustainability will happen on a campus and to what level. No matter which campus team you’re on, it’s best to look at both programs — there are some crossovers with STARS leaning towards operations and SEED leaning towards learn/work curriculum.
With STARS and SEED providing a common language and matrix for measuring success – essentially it’s replacing the top down command and control with a framework for understanding. The “teams selling to teams” sales game just became a whole lot easier to manage.
Let the revolution begin!
Next week AASHE.org will be in LA with about 1200 educators, administrators, students, and concerned businesses. It brings with it a heavy agenda for how to embed sustainable solutions into the campus, teachers, and students.
I’m attended as both a listener as to what ecolutionary ideas universities and colleges across the nation are advancing plus contribute some ideas of my own for bringing education and business together. Look for daily takeaways here on Ecolutionary Selling and a final summary over on In Women We Trust, the speaker’s bureau comprised of leaders in the green social media field, women’s issues, education, and culture.
What brings me, a business person, to AASHE? A couple years ago while consulting for the LACCD Build program, I met Professor Marcela Oliva who teaches architecture to urban LA students at LA Trade Tech. Some people think outside the box, and then there’s Marcela who stacks the boxes together, stands on top, and reaches for more boxes… Her teaching techniques have had tremendous success training students in two years how to be critical, synergistic thinkers and skilled spatial data visualizers – earning her the Teacher of the Year award at LA Trade Tech.
You can feel the creative energy the moment you walk into Marcela’s studio. Can it be duplicated? What if we can package her template for success to help other schools do the same thing? Her unique system for employing traditional class work with open source education and internship that keeps her students engaged, excited and wanting to learn more. More importantly, the students have almost 100% job placement or transfer to a four year program. Recently, I asked one student what being in her program meant to him. Without hesitation he replied, “I’ve never been turned down for a job.”
That’s why I’m at AASHE. To help connect more dots between business and education. We need to foster programs that create a sustainable world - FAST. You can meet Marcela and myself, Monday at 11 during her Advanced Track presentation: Visualizing and Modeling the Drivers in a Holistic Built Environment: Social Justice through Spatial Tools. Attendees will learn how to use a simple model to convey balanced ideas, synergistic business models, and open collaboration for the human-built environment.
In a breakthrough in thinking piece, by Josh Allan Dystra (Fast Company), Josh looks at the drivers behind why Millennials (the kids with wallets) aren’t buying what we’re selling – they’d rather try it when they need it.
Cars? Rent them or live local and go without.
Phones? We already “rent” them, no one pays for what it really costs to run, we pay for the connections phones provide.
Travel? Use couchsurfing or AirBnB.com to find homes with space vs. hotels.
Music? Download it. Only furniture museums need to show the now moot CD holder tower.
It’s taking a page from the Natives Americans who found the idea of owning parts of the earth ludicrous.
The full article is a fascinating look at how this mentality is changing how we approach selling into this non-ownership world – what are we really selling besides the product if pride of ownership is no longer the reason?
1. People buy things because of what they can do with them.
2. People buy things because of what they can tell others about it.
3. People buy things because of what having it says about them.
Are you prepared to sell “thin air” and make your customers fall in love with it? Read the full article and find out.