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At ARTÉMIA we are always looking for ways to build on our green sustainability credentials both within and outside the office. We’re lucky enough that our location works well for staff members to leave their cars behind and either ride mass transit, walk or bicycle to the office. So we are real fans of the annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day, which took place this week.
Despite the rain and gray skies in some areas, this year’s event was a great success, with more than one hundred thousand people taking the challenge and putting some pedal power into action across all nine Bay Area counties. To encourage people to take part and to lend a celebratory element to the day, “Energizer” stations were set up along some of the more popular routes, with refreshments, giveaways and information on cycling safety.
From a marketing perspective, the way in which Bike to Work day played out – on social media in particular – provided some very strong examples of ways in which brands and businesses can get authentically involved in a headline event to both boost their product offering and underline their company culture. For example, Amazon took the irreverent route and featured a pizza cutter in the shape of a racing bike for sale on their site (while also reminding everyone of their enormous product range – you can literally buy almost anything on Amazon now). Skype chose to give a playful insight into their office culture, with a short Vine video of a worker pedaling away on a static bike at his desk. Search #biketoworkday2015 for more great examples.
Brands sometimes come under fire for clumsily latching on to events, anniversaries and so forth without any real relevance. Because our social media feeds often combine professional and personal interests (in terms of who we follow or like on Twitter and Facebook in particular) this can be jarring and lacking credibility. It is far better to find an angle that resonates with your business and your audience, and if that can’t be done easily, simply stick to the events more closely aligned to your company.
One company that really got behind its employees for Bike to Work day was Google. Tech companies are now famed for their ever-growing lists of employee perks and so it was no surprise that Google pulled out all the stops this past week. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 2,500 people cycled significant distances from places like San Francisco and Santa Cruz to Google’s Mountain View campus. The company created a festival-like atmosphere with a DJ set, healthy food, smoothies, and even free massages. This was a great way for Google to highlight its company ethos and culture – and score some great PR in the process. However it also takes me back to my opening point that as a company, it’s important to encourage (and reward) environmentally responsible behaviors if sustainability is central to your values. As a Google representative noted, “Biking is more than a hobby to Google – it’s part of our commitment to taking as many cars off the road as possible every day.”
If you’d like to discuss how to promote sustainability initiatives in your business, as ever, please get in touch.
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