Safety management within an organization is often looked at as a legal obligation which can protect against liabilities and decrease the long-term costs of doing business. Though this is an important function of workplace safety, many business owners and managers do not consider some of the other benefits to making safety an organizational priority. As a key decision-maker within your organization, it is important for you to take advantage of all the benefits safety has to offer. One way to take your investment in safety and turn it into a boost in sales is to use safety as part of your marketing strategy. To rise above your competition and increase your sales, it is vital you weave safety into everything you do and then promote your safety efforts to your customers.
What are the Key Differentiators in Your Industry?
Key differentiators are business attributes that separate an organization from the competition in a particular marketplace. Key differentiators are the answers to the questions all consumers ask themselves:
Why should I purchase this product or service from Company A instead of buying it from Company B, C or D?
The key differentiators important in one industry may not be as important in others. For example, in the smartphone marketplace, key differentiators may include innovation and customer support. If you are a company who develops smartphones (such as Apple, Inc. or Samsung), then it would be important for you to continually invest in the latest smartphone technology, hire the best customer service representatives, and then communicate how this added value makes you better than your competition. These differentiators would not necessarily be as important in another marketplace, let’s say the second-hand clothing marketplace, where companies may want to position themselves as being the “most affordable” or “trendy” option around.
In your industry, there is a good chance you could use your focus on safety as a key differentiator. More and more, consumers demand products and services from companies who are responsible and accountable. Many of them will only buy from companies who have a proven history of valuing employees and the environment. Why not take advantage of this and use your safety efforts as a way to show your current and prospective customers you are a company who cares – unlike your competition!
Safety in Your Marketing Communications
After you have fully integrated safety as a priority within your organization and have determined these safety efforts to be a key point of differentiation in the marketplace, you will then need to promote and communicate this information to current and prospective customers. There are plenty of places to talk about your safety culture and spread the word about the value it brings to the table.
Your Company Website
Your website should be a reflection of the key components in your marketing strategy. When you use your safety initiatives as a way to increase the value perceived by consumers, then you have many opportunities to drive home the point on your company website. Your homepage is a good start. Is there a quick and efficient way to communicate your focus on safety?
Legacy Health, a nonprofit organization well-known for its hospitals, is a great example of utilizing their website homepage to promote their safety culture. When you click on the circled text (as shown in the picture to the right), you are taken to a unique webpage dedicated to talking about safety and how “Legacy Health participates in quality improvement initiatives, tracks its progress, and trains and rewards employees based on quality and safety.”
If you do not communicate your focus on safety to customers, how will they ever know the peace-of-mind and quality experience they could have by choosing you over your competitors? Think of other places on your website where current and prospective customers may go to learn more about your company. Your focus on safety could be communicated in an About Us section, Core Values page, Company Mission and Vision, press releases, or even used in the website menu!
Does your marketing strategy include paid advertising? Whether you answer yes or no to that question, it is important to consider using paid advertising to promote your safety efforts and the benefits they bring to your customers. You have opportunities both online and offline to position yourself as a company who values safety, workers, and the environment. Whether you utilize online banners, paid search ads, email marketing, social media ads, flyers, brochures, or billboards, find ways to communicate how your focus on safety (and any other key differentiators, for that matter) makes you different than your competitors.
Bechtel is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, and project management. They also view safety as a value that is fundamental to their culture. They advertise this value online and offline (as shown in the picture to the right). Bechtel’s focus on safety is a huge reason why their customers choose them for their construction and engineering needs. Bechtel’s current and prospective customers understand that, when a company and its workers are dedicated to safety, operating costs go down and productivity goes up because less time is lost to accidents.
Some view Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube and other social media sites as a waste of time for businesses. However, the viral sharing capabilities of these networks make them a must for any smart business. They are also a great way to engage with your customers and build loyalty. Why not boast your exceptional safety initiatives, goals, and achievements on a place where your customers can quickly and easily share this information with friends and family? Social media can give your customers something positive to share with their friends and family regarding your company.
Importance of Integration
After clearly developing a safety management system, training your employees, and establishing controls to prevent or eliminate hazards, you certainly have something worth bragging about as a company. Integrate safety into everything you do, including your marketing strategy. When you differentiate and position yourself as a responsible company who values safety, you will not only be able to establish a memorable brand but also increase your sales by adding meaningful value to your products, services, and customer experience.