Remember the song from the movie… “The way we were”? Many people are saying there is no going back now, and we totally agree. So if you are waiting for business to return as it was, you will be left behind.
Today’s economic climate is changing everything. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. What happens after the economy recovers is what we call the New Normal. It is based on human behavior, solid values and just plain old common sense.
I read a trend email from Pam Danzinger this morning that pretty much sums it up for the luxury industry: “The High-End Furniture Market is never going back to the way it was.” What we are saying is, it doesn’t just stop there.
The greener side of recession
For the past several years, and more precisely the last two, we have been witness to the “green movement”. When gasoline got to $4 a gallon we all became believers even if we were on the fence before. But now that gas is $2 a gallon, our conservation efforts have not really slackened. It could be in part because of the need to conserve as an effort to reduce expenses, but I think it is much more than that. We have seen that we can make do with less and are learning to accept it; in fact we are starting to like it. There is no going back.
I talked to a man I met yesterday, who was saying that his family has been eating exclusively organic foods and little red meat. He claims to feel better and be in better health, and his wife does as well. I asked, now that you have adjusted to a natural lifestyle, would you go back to the former habits? He said, “There is no going back now.”
Our new lifestyle places many old virtues front and center. Gardening is making a huge comeback. Sales of Ferry Morse, the nation’s largest seed pack producer, has seen a 60% increase in business for Spring 2009 in key stores. We are gardening more as a hobby and as a natural and wholesome way to supplement our food sources. There are many opportunities for retailers, you just need to find out what your customer need (now) and deliver it to them. For instance, this could be a great time to bring back gardening and natural products into your offerings. We see many patio gardening kits in city centers and everything from flower box tomato gardens to roto-tillers gaining buyers’ interest this season. Gifts and gift baskets being made with gardening and natural product themes have improved sales potential as well. So as we have been saying, there are still lots of opportunities for the gift industry; it’s just that we will be packaging different products.
Sustainability is the real deal
Green is one thing, and it seems that many companies lately are trying to jump on that bandwagon. Much of our “greening” is beneficial, but the overdone side of it is what is being called “greenwashing”. We don’t like it any more than you do, and this is not something you will find at Nashville Wraps. If you have been following us for any length of time you will know that we stick with the facts about our eco-friendly packaging products.
We published a recent blog on sustainability (Trend Watch: Sustainability Defined) and how it is not only environmental, but social and economic as well. Is your business sustainable? If not, why not? There are still many opportunities for the gift and gourmet industry; it’s just that we will be packaging different products. We will be talking more about sustainable products, businesses and even lifestyles, so keep us on your bookmarks.
Green Way gets its mark
Like you, we are in the market for real positive change, long term business success, and sustainable products. Just last week we received our registered trademark for “GreenWay – Packaging with Purpose”. Nashville Wraps owns the only registered trademark for environmentally responsible retail packaging products. It shows our commitment to you and to the type of change that is beneficial, lasting and sustainable.
Consumerism has morphed to Conservationism.
We as consumers and business people alike are changing our habits and adopting new more sustainable ones like shopping local, buying natural products, recycling, conserving resources, and looking more at the labels on things we purchase. We are talking to our neighbors more, sharing time together, cooking at home and finding more things to do with family and friends, in the park or in our back yards and patios.
We as a people are asking more questions, getting more answers and making better decisions. This is what the blog is dedicated to. Our intent is to inform and provide the tools you need to be successful and sustainable together.
Robby Meadows, Nashville Wraps
Other related links: The New Normal: National Public Radio; Pam Danzinger: Unity Marketing Consumer Insights; Trend Watch: Going Local; Kathy’s Garden Spot; Coming Full Circle to Generation-G; 98% of Green Labeled Products are Actually Greenwashed; Eco-Buyer Beware: Green Can Be Deceiving