As this issue was coming together, I was struck by the juxtaposition of people wanting to save the planet (going green) and also wanting to let everyone know where they are (geolocation). The two seem unrelated, but both focus on a personal connection with the world. People want to save it and proclaim their place on it.
It may have just been because I was hyper-aware of sustainablity as this is our Going Green issue, but a lot of news this month seemed to focus on green initiatives. Several bakeries, both large and small, were awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The process to become certified is long and arduous, so kudos to the bakeries that have succeeded. We address two such bakeries on page 10.
But for others who may not have the resources to embark on certification, small steps, such as switching to LED or CFL light bulbs, can reap rewards. In fact, according to research, companies that make small steps garner more respect from consumers than those who make unsubstantiated claims about big changes.
To gain ideas about what your own operation can do, Modern Baking spoke with several bakeries throughout the country about the steps they are taking to “go green,” and the rewards they are reaping as a result. Trends in Baking on page 18 takes a look at how retail and specialty wholesale bakers are creating business models in their quest for sustainability. And in this month's In-store On Point, Christina Jessie, bakery sales director for the Eugene, Ore.-based Market of Choice, talks about the advances her in-store bakeries have made to meet company goals for eco-friendly practices.
With bakeries taking steps to help ensure there is a world in the future, they also can take advantage of people's desire to announce their place in it. Geolocation sites, which are explained on page 62, are popping up. Users can broadcast their exact physical location to others via their mobile device (cell phone, laptop, etc.) and use the applications to find bars, restaurants and bakeries in their vicinity.
For full disclosure, this latest incarnation of social networking is a bit beyond me, but as business operators, it behooves you to keep up with how customers are using social media. And your customers are using it.
According to The Broad Reach of Social Technologies study conducted by Forrester Research, more than 90 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are socially active online. And participation in social sites grew 60 percent last year for 35- to 54-year olds. Many of these people are your customers, or should be.
These geolocation user services are more proof that social media is here to stay, it's important to know the latest iteration to use to connect with your customers.