Green Power has segmented the market into two distinct target market groups. The first group is architects who are building a structure either speculatively (infrequently) or for a client (generally). The second customer group is individual customers who desire environmental elements designed into their building. The niche that Green Power has chosen to participate in is a fairly new field. Green Power faces competition from eco-architects as well as from the local utilities that may have a small department that offers green energy consultation advice. The industry often operates to satisfy clients; it is the end customer that typically requests green energy designs and they either seek out a specific architect or they request their architect to receive guidance from firms such as Green Power.
Green Power has segmented its target market into two different customer groups, both equally attractive.
This customer group is made up of professional architects that design buildings and additions for clients. Architects have developed a strategic relationship with Green Power to offer value-added-services for their clients.
This segment contains consumers who are either having a residential home, or a commercial structure, designed. Due to their personal environmental concerns and a recognition that it can be cost effective to have building decisions with environmental considerations, they have requested Green Power's assistance. They are generally working directly with Green Power for their design needs and will likely then take this design criteria to their builder.
Green Power has chosen these two market segments for compelling reasons. The architects have been focused on because they are the service providers that do the bulk of the design work for residential and commercial structures. The architects are used as sales people for Green Power's services, they are the ones that can then sell these services to their customers. It benefits the architects because they are able to offer a wider range of value-added-services to their customers without spending capital of learning the information themselves. By aligning itself with architects, Green Power is able to offer their services to a larger group of people.
Green Power will also serve individual customers. These are people who know that they want environmental considerations made in the design of their structure and will seek out a firm such as Green Power to have this work done. Burlington is a wonderful place to locate Green Power as there is a high population of environmentally-conscious people in this city. This provides Green Power with a large market of interested customers. Additionally, this market group is attractive because people that have environmental tendencies are often vocal about their commitments or causes. By offering green energy services, Green Power allows this group of people to act on what they believe in on a personal level, adhering to the wise saying think globally, act locally.
The environmental power consultancy industry is fairly new. Only recently has there been an emergence of firms that offer these services. This can be explained by several factors. First, people are becoming more environmentally aware these days, a function of many things including the recent problems with the Middle East and Fundamental Islamists. These recent problems have forced people to reconsider America's dependence on oil and the need to maintain good relationships with Saudi Arabia only because of their oil. Another factor that has contributed to the growth of green power is that it has become increasingly cost effective to make business decisions while taking into account the decisions impact on the environment. For years an environmental decision was based on personal consciousness and ethics, not overriding economic factors. Now money can be saved when environmental impacts are taken into account. Please read the following section which will indicate the different players within the industry.
The competition generally takes two different forms:
These are architects that specialize in environmental design considerations. Typically their entire practice is based around structures that have environmental elements. Green Power could actually be within this industry niche, however they are able to serve a larger customer baser, therefore earn more revenue as well as make a positive impact in our world by offering its services to both end consumers as well as regular architects as opposed to the business model of only serving one set of customers.
The local utilities often have a department that offers free consultation for environmental design considerations. There are incentives for the utilities to attempt to curb their customer's use of their energy. These incentives take the form of not needing to make as many capital expenditures to develop the power delivery infrastructure to accommodate the increased load for energy demands. Therefore, the more the utility is able to get their customers to conserve, the less money they have to spend on infrastructure improvements, the more money they earn. That being said, the utility often has a small department that offers tips on energy conservation. While these tips can be quite helpful, since they are offered for free for the power customers, they are not nearly as comprehensive as they could be. So while they provide good initial tips, the local utility is not a strong competitor to serve a client who is committed to making as much of a positive environmental difference as can be achieved by using a specialized firm.
The buying pattern for consumers is currently being defined as we speak, a function of how new the industry is. Currently, purchasing decisions are based on customers typically making requests for these services from their architect or they do a bit of research to determine who offers these services. As the industry becomes more mature, firms will become more established and reputation and visibility/awareness will shape buying decisions. Since there is a wide range of options regarding implementation, price is less of a consideration for the decision since most of the service providers can offer a wide range of inexpensive to expensive options.