Existing Frameworks

May 15, 2006

Green products can be a win-win for all, aligning societal benefits with consumer ones. More typically, however, green products are challenged by three issues, in that they:

Offer Benefits that Consumers Undervalue
Consumers typically undervalue the social benefits from green products. How could they when social benefits are typically less tangible and represent only one of many considerations when making a purchase decision?

Require Tradeoffs
Today, consumers access shopping bots to find the exact product that fits into their lifestyle, at the price they are willing to pay. This may not necessarily be the case for green products, as they typically impose tradeoffs in terms of price, design, functionality or performance in order to deliver green benefits. Take hybrids, for example. Greater fuel efficiency typically requires a compromise in performance.

Target Underdeveloped Markets
Green markets are nascent. As such, green companies may face the twofold challenge of marketing a new product and cultivating a new market category. Consumer adoption may be slow, impeded by limited choice (few manufacturers), high product costs (until production volumes increase) and consumer inertia (wait and see attitudes).

While these issues are by no means limited only to green products, they indeed pose special challenges for marketers and require specific strategies and tactics to overcome.


Green Product Challeges

May 14, 2006

Green products can be a win-win for all, aligning societal benefits with consumer ones. More typically, however, green products are challenged by three issues, in that they:

Offer Benefits that Consumers Undervalue
Consumers typically undervalue the social benefits from green products. How could they when social benefits are typically less tangible and represent only one of many considerations when making a purchase decision?

Require Tradeoffs
Today, consumers access shopping bots to find the exact product that fits into their lifestyle, at the price they are willing to pay. This may not necessarily be the case for green products, as they typically impose tradeoffs in terms of price, design, functionality or performance in order to deliver green benefits. Take hybrids, for example. Greater fuel efficiency typically requires a compromise in performance.

Target Underdeveloped Markets
Green markets are nascent. As such, green companies may face the twofold challenge of marketing a new product and cultivating a new market category. Consumer adoption may be slow, impeded by limited choice (few manufacturers), high product costs (until production volumes increase) and consumer inertia (wait and see attitudes).

While these issues are by no means limited only to green products, they indeed pose special challenges for marketers and require specific strategies and tactics to overcome.


Mission

May 14, 2006

Marketing Green is intended to be an exploration into one of the most vexing business and societal challenges today, namely, how to successfully market “green” products or services to consumers, and drive their mass market consumption. My objective is to inspire innovative thinking through dialogue and debate. Perhaps over time, we can together develop a practitioner’s guide that others can draw upon to design new products, shape consumer attitudes and preferences and inspire the purchase of everything green.At first glance, marketing green products may not seem that difficult. For example, with oil prices soaring, hybrids practically sell themselves these days. Yet, for most products, major barriers exist and adoption has succeeded only in niche markets.

Consumers purchase green goods for the rational benefits they provide, as well as the emotional responses that they evoke – similar to all other products. Yet, green products also generate a societal benefit – typically one that lessens, prevents or even reverses environmental impact. While consumers may indeed derive satisfaction from purchases that have an altruistic bent, most are less willing to do so when initial costs are higher or product designs are compromised. Marketers are challenged with overcoming these barriers, articulating compelling rational and emotional reasons for purchasing green.

Let’s begin the dialogue.


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