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Upscale Branding Can Live Harmoniously with Green Branding
By: Cindy Wendland
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China is number 1. Paris is number 2, with the largest bike-sharing system in the world. New York City has a solar-powered bike-sharing system that has recently taken some heat. Turns out The Plaza didn’t like the bike-share station right across the street from its grand entrance.

A Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice ruled that The Plaza hotel can't boot the Citi bicycle-sharing station out of a space across the street from its entrance. The Plaza claims the bike-sharing station has too much advertising and is backing up limousine traffic in front of the hotel and condos during big events. The Plaza works hard to maintain its impeccable upscale brand, and catering to their customers is important. Their upscale customers expect luxury and demand high-level service and prefer not to wait.

The Plaza is managed by the Fairmont. The Fairmont has a corporate responsibility policy and a green partnership program designed to minimize their impact on the planet. If they truly support green programs, the Citi bike-sharing station should be applauded by them. Why do green and luxury have to be at odds?

The location of the bike-sharing station is a popular one, since it is close to Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, and the shops on Fifth Avenue. Biking through the city is a great way to get around. Probably some of The Plaza guests vacation on Long Island or Martha’s Vineyard, where biking is also popular. It would also stand to reason that many of the guests staying at The Plaza are executives, and the companies they either own or are employed by have corporate responsibility programs. If guests at The Plaza bike in their leisure time and support CR programs, many of which are green, isn’t it a little hypocritical not to support the Citi bike-sharing station?

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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