ATLANTA—Former NACS Chairman Rahim Budhwani said it best, “C-store doesn't just stand for convenience store, it also stands for community store.” Many convenience stores partner with their local communities in a number of ways, but consumers rarely hear about the impact because stores are not promoting those partnerships as part of a holistic messaging strategy.
One message convenience stores don’t tell enough centers around their sustainability practices and the big impact those efforts can have on their local communities. With the environment top of mind for a growing number of consumers, getting the word out about relevant programs can be just the boost c-stores need in today’s competitive marketplace. “Retailers have a great opportunity to tell a holistic sustainability story by showcasing the positive impact they are making at the community level,” said Pete Davis, CEO at GreenPrint, to NACS Daily.
Davis recommends retailers tap into community connections to enhance their sustainability programs by participating in neighborhood tree plantings, school landscaping and local beautification projects. “These kinds of projects not only reinforce the retailer’s commitment to the environment but are tangible examples consumers can see of the positive impact the retailer is making in local communities,” Davis said.
These off-site events extend the canvas for c-stores to tell important impact stories. Beyond their forecourts and stores, local events can highlight a retailers’ commitment to making the world a better place, starting in their customers’ neighborhoods. “Working with nonprofit organizations gives retailers a chance to bring their messaging to a wider audience,” Davis said.
For example, GreenPrint worked with Twice Daily to connect Thrive, the convenience store chain’s Reduced Emissions Program, to the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, which will take place Sept. 21-22 in Franklin, Tenn. Thrive will track emissions by measuring energy usage throughout the festival, including generators, lights and foot traffic, making the festival 100% carbon neutral.
“Thrive will make the festival a greener, more earth-friendly experience,” Davis said. “For Twice Daily, the chain will receive both local and national recognition bolstering their commitment to giving back to their community through environmentally responsibly practices.”
By thinking beyond the boundaries of their four walls, retailers can reach more customers with brand-boosting messaging about purpose-driven efforts that extend beyond their pumps and stores. “Seeing retailers take positive action in their local communities through local partnerships is a very powerful (and easy) brand differentiator,” Davis said.
This article is brought to you by GreenPrint and is the second installment of a two-part series about how to tell your sustainability story. Look for more on this topic in the Sept.10 edition of NACS Daily.