Green marketing of cosmetics and toiletries in Thailand
Lalit M. Johri
Associate Professor at the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand
Retail Network Strategic Planning Assistant, Shell Companies in Thailand, Klongtoey, Bangkok, Thailand
Introduction The green marketing of products and services is an important development in the context of emerging economies in Asia. By adopting resource conserving and environmentally-friendly strategies in all the stages of the value chain the firms can satisfy the growing environmental concerns of humanity. In the West, business firms face social and legal pressures to adopt environmentally-friendly business strategies. Many corporations responded to these pressures and adopted environmentally-friendly strategies. For example, Earth Care in the UK built strong competitive advantage and grew very fast since it started its operations. Similarly Ciba Geigy, now part of Novartis, has improved its corporate performance by adopting resource and environment conservation programs. Environmentally-friendly attitudes In Thailand, international companies in personal care products, detergents and petrochemical industries have been pursuing green marketing strategies for some time now. Recently many construction firms, refrigerator manufacturers and processed food companies have also launched programs to contain damage to the environment and project themselves as environmentally-friendly companies. The Thai companies and consumers are increasingly becoming environment conscious and many environmental management initiatives have been launched by different segments of the society. These cover a wide spectrum of environmentally-friendly actions and strategies. Major corporations, both foreign subsidiaries and local companies, are investing in pollution-control equipment and environment-friendly technologies. Several companies have launched advertising campaigns to project environmentally conscious corporate images and promote products that are less harmful to the environment. At the village level, Buddhist monks, local grassroots NGOs and people’s organizations are involved in mobilizing people in conservation efforts. As per the Seventh National Plan, there is an effort to incorporate environmental education at all levels of the education system. The media are also playing a significant role in creating awareness and educating people about the benefits of environment conservation to the society. A number of musicians and popular songwriters emphasize environmental messages in their work. They are considered one of the most effective environmental communicators in the Thai context. In addition, many projects and campaigns have been initiated to create public environmental awareness in the Thai society. In this paper we will explore the application of green marketing strategies by two companies in the cosmetics and toiletries industry in Thailand. These are, an international company, The Body Shop, and a local company, JOURNAL OF CONSUMER MARKETING, VOL. 15 NO. 3 1998, pp. 265-281 © MCB UNIVERSITY PRESS, 0736-3761 265
Oriental Princess. Further, we will evaluate the impact of these strategies on shaping the consumer attitudes and the extent of brand loyalty. Literature review There is a growing body of knowledge on green marketing focusing mainly on four issues. These issues are: first, relevance of green marketing; second, impact of green marketing on firms’ competitiveness and performance; third, attributes considered by consumers while buying green products; and fourth, improving effectiveness of green marketing. Increasing awareness In the context of Asian countries, it is said that during the 1990s corporations faced increasing environmental challenges as a result of pressure coming from drivers of change, such as...