John Patrick Cahill
Sean Mc Loughlin
“ Earth Friendly, Dolphin Friendly, Green Marketing: Call it what you want. It’s a waste of resources”
“Climate change, mass extinction of species, deforestation and the ever increasing loss of natural habitats are facts accepted by most scientists and is known to the public”.
Green marketplaces are developing in many parts of the world as consumers are becoming more consciously aware of the environment. This has been evident since the 1990’s when companies began researching consumer behaviors and identified a heightened environmental awareness. Vandermerwe and Oliff surveyed European multinationals and found that 92 per cent claimed to have changed their products in response to green consumer demands. The 1990s promised a great thing for businesses contemplating a move towards a greener and environmentally friendly image. Vandermerwe and Oliff predicted an emerging”green tide”, however this turned out to be only a mere green ripple in the sea and did not materialise. However since then consumers opinions towards green products has increased at an alarming rate with more than ever recycling and purchasing environmentally friendly products. (http://emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do?contentType=Article&hdAction=lnkhtml&contentId=8543) This shift in consumer attitudes and behaviors has led to companies realizing that they must act now and prove to their markets that they are eco- friendly in order to maintain and increase their current market share. As green products are becoming very important to consumers those companies who fail to recognize and react to their consumers needs and wants will find themselves losing valuable market share. For example the car manufacturer Toyota anticipated this shift in consumer attitudes and developed the first hybrid car, powered by both conventional fuels and electricity. The Toyota Prius was unveiled to the market place and left Toyotas competitors in a race against time to catch up. Sales for the Prius were far higher than estimated proving the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. As a result of the success of the Prius the Toyota brand as a whole was seen as the most environmentally sound of all the manufacturers, giving them a clear competitive advantage. As recently as last week Toyota unveiled their new production line at a car show in Europe (Eurosport cable channel), all of which follow this winning formula of the “hybrid car” – see handout for image of the Prius. In order to succeed in the future Green Markets companies will need to invest in Green Marketing in order to relate to their customers. For example Canon, the producer of ink cartridges and printers has changed their corporate philosophy entirely. Their corporate philosophy known as “Kyosei” meaning, living and working together for the common good, guides the company towards cause-related marketing that reinforces the company’s position as a market and environmental leader. (http://www.greenmarketing.com/articles/JSP1Apr98.html)
In the us they began a clean Earth campaign in which they donated one dollar to environmental charities from every Canon toner returned to them. This resulted in Canon recycling several million toners. This strategy saved Canon costs and also set a valuable example to other companies.
Why are firms using Green Marketing?
There is five possible reasons for why companies are using green marketing, showing that it is not a waste of resources: -
1) Organisations perceive environmental marketing to be an opportunity that can be used to achieve objectives ( Keller 1987, Shearer 1990) 2) Organisations believe they have a moral obligation to be more socially responsible (Davis 1992, Freeman and Liedtka 1991) 3) Government bodies are forcing firms to become more responsible through legislation 4) Competitors environmental activities pressure firms to become more responsible (NAAG 1990) 5) Cost Factors associated with waste disposal, or reductions in material usage forces firms to modify their behavior( Azzone and Manzini 1994)
The above points suggest why companies are embracing green marketing into their marketing strategies as it can increase their profits through cost reductions and also improve their brand image to the outside world. However it is not just companies who are undertaking in Green Marketing, Governments have also been obliged to do so in order to acheive EU minimum environmental standards. For example 15% of Ireland should consist of green, open space yet it is only at 7 and half percent. (Aspects II Studies in W. Europe, New Edition (Ed. Co.)
In order for the government to reach this standard without facing penalties they have resorted to SHOK marketing in order to reach their target market………..The Irish population. One such advertisement produced included a young girl playing in a playground with litter falling from the sky covering her. The caption read- Race against Waste- Do you want your children to grow up surrounded by this? This SHOCK advertising strategy was aimed at doing exactly as it suggest, shocking people in action. By making people feel guilty about littering and showing the impact their littering can have on their loved ones enhances their ability to relate to the advertisement, resulting in change of attitudes. In order to prove the success of this advertisement we distributed a survey in which we asked 100 consumers shopping in Tescos, Dundalk if they remembered the advert. Overall 60 consumers could remember the advert and 55 said that they did feel a sense of guilt when watching the advertisement.
Here are some other results from our survey:-
• Would you choose a cheap product over a green product? 65% said no, 30% said yes, 5 % said they don’t know
• What percentage would you pay extra for a green product? 5% - 11% of people
10% - 29% of people
30% - 43% of people
50% - 17% of people
• By buying green do you feel that you are contributing to a cleaner environment? 84% said yes, 12% said no, 4% said don’t know
Therefore in conclusion to the motion “ Earth Friendly, Dolphin Friendly, Green Marketing: call it what you want, it’s a waste of resources. It is evident from the above examples and particularly the results of our mini survey that Green Marketing is not a waste of resources and does have a positive effect on individuals. As consumers continue to become more environmentally aware it is vital that companies follow this shift in purchase behaviors if they are to compete in the market place. The use of shock marketing often used by government bodies has also proved to be a success and will continue to in the future as it causes individuals to feel guilty about their negative actions towards the environment and will encourage them to go green.
• Eurosport Cable Channel
• Aspects II Studies in W. Europe, New Edition (Ed. Co.)
Division of work within the team:-