Sunday, March 04, 2007

Communicating your mission: The Green Team at Long Beach Aquarium

Long Beach, California: Last week at a conference I went behind the scenes at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific (LBAP). The Aquarium's mission: To instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.

As part of day-to-day business, the Aquarium applies green practices and technology throughout their operation, spearheaded by an internal "Green Team." They also do a good job of communicating what they're doing to visitors. Let's take a look in their gift shop. This sign clearly identifies both the Green Team and items that support green efforts.

These stylish bags are made from used juice boxes from the Philippines.

The sign explains that the bags are recycled and the company provides a living for more than 200 families, adding to the feel-good message (100% Concepts, China).

These reusable "wrap sacks" replace wrapping paper and encourage buyers to pass them along around the Earth: 1-800-505-3365.

For other items like these, visit Alchemy Goods. Their messenger and tote bags are made from old seat belts, inner tubes, and billboards. Purses and bags made from recycled billboard signs: Relan Bags.

Tip of the day: When you align your business practice with your mission, your organization stands out. If you want to influence behavior, like buying "greener" items, offer them in your store and explain the benefits to the buyer and the earth. I cover mission-driven memorabilia in detail in my new book, Creating Great Visitor Experiences.

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1 comment:

  1. Another great post, Stephanie.

    Even if a product is purely "for profit", there is a lot of benefit to be had from showing the public its background and hidden values.

    Not only might it directly influence the purchase decision and decrease price sensitivity (like in your example), but knowing more about a product's history can help bond a customer to a brand, and certainly gives them more to tell their friends about.

    Of course, it's critical that the information is presented in an interesting, easily digestible way!