BrightQube Launches Carbon Offset Program, Reports Growth

Posted on 3/27/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

BrightQube, a stock-image distributor and search engine founded in 2007, has launched a carbon-reduction program. The company will purchase TerraPass carbon offset credits that correspond to the amount of time buyers spend on its Web site for the duration of the program. All buyer activities will be taken into account, from setting up free accounts to building lightboxes and purchasing images.

TerraPass is a San Francisco-based environmental company that is among the entrepreneurial groups leading the fight against global warming. It encourages people to take responsibility for their carbon footprint by putting a dollar figure on activities that generate carbon dioxide emissions and selling offset credits to finance green projects. For instance, a Flight TerraPass costs $10 and balances the environmental impact of an airplane trip, while offsetting the emissions caused by driving an SUV would take $99. TerraPass uses the proceeds to finance environmental projects, such as wind-energy farms and landfill-gas captures.

BrightQube is widely recognized as the most innovative stock-industry launch of 2007 by industry insiders and buyers. "Once people are on our site, they are enamored," says BrightQube vice president of marketing Sharon Tczap. Still, she recognizes that the company faces the same challenge as all start-ups: generating buyer interest.

Tczap thinks the carbon-offset program is a good way of doing that,  particularly because the creative community is highly socially conscious. The program is also a good fit with the people of BrightQube, who are passionate about a number of social issues and want to make a direct contribution to the fight against global warming, "instead of shipping plastic [promotional items] from China and contributing to pollution," Tczap explains.

Since its launch, BrightQube has made a number of improvements to the search engine. "Our customers are our passion, so we actively seek feedback. Saying our site is built on designer needs is not a marketing ploy," says Tczap. The company has set up corporate accounts, enabled individual image notation to allow designers to invoice their own clients, and begun to offer non-watermarked comps. It also refined the search interface to better distinguish between microstock and traditional royalty-free images. Perhaps most importantly, BrightQube expanded search options from two to four, including linking the directional arrows of its interface to the arrow keys on users' keyboards, thus easing and speeding up the search process.

Without offering specifics, Tczap says BrightQube is showing significant growth in all areas, from site traffic to sales. The company is adding staff as well, with former Punchstock/Getty Images sales executive Phil Ahern recently appointed BrightQube's vice president of sales. "Suppliers are [also] seeking us out because of our innovative, entirely new technology," she adds. BrightQube's ever-expanding image library now includes about 2.6 million images from some 40 producers.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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