Lisa Clark, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development
We’ve all heard the saying ‘the early bird gets the worm.’ Applied to business, it’s ‘the first to market owns the market.’ In both instances, we’re referring to an individual or a company that views change as opportunity, not a reason for panic. They embrace ‘new’ – even seek it out – and use it as a catalyst to something bigger than what’s possible today. We call this group the early adopters.
Being an early adopter offers more than just bragging rights. Businesses that are early adopters – especially in the sustainable practices area – reap benefits including brand reputation, competitive advantage, visibility and market influence.
We’ve certainly seen that with respect to our own customers. Across a wide range of markets, from maritime to groundskeeping and utilities to waste management, those who have embraced more sustainable measures have seen numerous benefits. While some were planned, some were happy surprises, they resulted from first or early mover advantage.
Competition is fierce. It pays (both financially and in the market place) to be on the forefront as an early adopter. From a sustainability standpoint, it can be your key competitive differentiator. Staying ahead of the pack is reason enough, and makes a strong business case to invest in emerging technologies. The ‘go first and go big’ game book play is a winning strategy for those in many manufacturing, production and business channels.
Building brand reputation is critical. It is based on perceptions of that brand’s character, and it comes from the success (or failure) of a company to deliver on what their brand stands for or promises. Early adoption of sustainable practices offers the opportunity to develop, monitor and protect that brand reputation and to position it in a positive, forward-thinking way to competitors, stakeholders and key audiences.
Embracing sustainable practices is a good starting point. Now it’s time to show that you support this category by implementing these practices into your business mantra. By showing your dedication to this category, it allows you to tell key audiences – current or potential customers, partners, investors or peers – that you stand for something bigger than yourself. It will get you noticed. Early adopters are viewed as thought leaders in their circles.
An early adopter implements innovation ahead of the majority. In the life-cycle of innovation, there’s a beginning, middle and end. Whether you realize it or not, your business is a part of this cycle. Starting early in the cycle is imperative. You not only enjoy the return on your investment sooner, but stay ahead of competitors that lag behind in the middle and end of the innovation cycle. Be the one that drives subsequent phases of adoption, not the one waiting to see what the influencers do before you adopt.
Why delay the benefits of competitive advantage, brand reputation, visibility and market influence? Be a leader in your industry and start incorporating sustainable practices into your business now. Odds are high that doing so will deliver operational benefits and potential cost-savings, further justifying your decision to be a sustainability leader. To learn how RSC Bio Solutions can make it easy to go green, visit our website.