Green Marketing – Opportunities & Challenges

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GREEN MARKETING – OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES 
BY
Miss. P. PIRAKATHEESWARI, Lecturer in Commerce,
Sri Sarada College for Women (Autonomous), Salem – 16.
"Progress is possible, No one can stop it, but obstacle is there, we have to face it."  
- Amartya Sen
Introduction
Yes, green marketing is a golden goose. As per Mr. J. Polonsky, green marketing can be defined as, "All activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchange intended to satisfy human needs or wants such that satisfying of these needs and wants occur with minimal detrimental input on the national environment." Green marketing involves developing and promoting products and services that satisfy customers want and need for Quality, Performance, Affordable Pricing and Convenience without having a detrimental input on the environment. Meaning

Green marketing refers to the process of selling products and/or services based on their environmental benefits. Such a product or service may be environmentally friendly in it or produced and/or packaged in an environmentally friendly way. The obvious assumption of green marketing is that potential consumers will view a product or service's "greenness" as a benefit and base their buying decision accordingly. The not-so-obvious assumption of green marketing is that consumers will be willing to pay more for green products than they would for a less-green comparable alternative product - an assumption that, in my opinion, has not been proven conclusively. While green marketing is growing greatly as increasing numbers of consumers are willing to back their environmental consciousnesses with their dollars, it can be dangerous. The public tends to be skeptical of green claims to begin with and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if a green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted by a company's other products or practices. Presenting a product or service as green when it's not is called green washing. Definition

According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing. The legal implications of marketing claims call for caution. Misleading or overstated claims can lead to regulatory or civil challenges. In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission provides some guidance on environmental marketing claims. Three keys to successful green marketing

Show potential customers that you follow green business practices and you could reap more green on your bottom line. Green Marketing isn't just a catchphrase; it's a marketing strategy that can help you get more customers and make more money. But only if you do it right. For green marketing to be effective, you have to do three things; be genuine, educate your customers, and give them the opportunity to participate. 1) Being genuine means that a) that you are actually doing what you claim to be doing in your green marketing campaign and b) that the rest of your business policies are consistent with whatever you are doing that's environmentally friendly. Both these conditions have to be met for your business to establish the kind of environmental credentials that will allow a green marketing campaign to succeed. 2) Educating your customers isn't just a matter of letting people know you're doing whatever you're doing to protect the environment, but also a matter of letting them know why it matters. Otherwise, for a significant portion of your target market, it's a case of "So what?" and...
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