In today's market, the choice for consumers has increased manifold with increased in the range
of models. Under such circumstances, choosing an appropriate product that fits one's value propositions has become all the more important. There is no denying the fact that choice making
has become very important task for a buyer, but it often does not end with that. There are additional things that they want to know before / after they buy a product. Today's marketplace is driven by
the emergence of the "Green Consumer" or "Environmentalism" and will become even more responsive to products and services promising environmental responsibility well into the 21st Century.
Today's consumers are more concerned more than ever about the environmental impact of products they buy. Pragmatic consumers purchase those products and packages that can be
recycled or otherwise safely disposed off in their communities. As a result, the number of industries under fire from environmentalists has grown very rapidly. Green Consumerism has helped to spur significant shifts in
the way in which some industries view the environmental challenge.
Although green consumers express their environmental concerns in individual ways, they are motivated by universal needs. (See exhibit 1) these needs translate
into new purchasing strategies with implications for the ways product are developed and marketed.
Exhibit – 1
Green consumer psychology and buying strategies
Terms such as "recyclable", "biodegradable", "environmentally friendly," "Sustainable,"
"Compostable" and "bio-based" are the latest buzzwords which green consumers looks for when they buy products. The broad scope of these buzzwards suggests that green consumers scrutinize products
at every phase of their life cycle, from raw material procurement, manufacturing and production straight through to product reuse, repair, recycling and eventual disposal (Refer exhibit II). While in use attributes continue to be
of primary importance, environmental shopping agendas now increasingly encompass factors consumers can't feel or see. They want to know how raw materials are procured and where they come from, how food is
grown, and what their potential impact is on the environment once they land in the trash bin.
EXHIBIT – II
GREEN PURCHASING BUZZWORDS
The success stories of companies from developed countries like P & G, Compaq, Macdonalds,
Pepsi, Stonyfield, Toyata, 3M, Phillips, have set the ball rolling and paved a new way to do business for conscious and demanding Green Consumer.
Because of this transformation of consumers, companies have shifted their priorities from conventional marketing to what is called "Green Marketing". In fact some of the researchers have gone to the
extent of profiling green product purchasers, to know there demographic composition and market behaviour, thus marketing products according to these green segments liking,. Environmental marketing is
more complex than conventional marketing. It serves two key objectives:
(1) To develop products that have minimal impact on the environment and environmental compatibility with convenience.
Environmental sensitivity to both products attributes and its manufactures' track record for environmental achievement.
Successful green marketers no longer view consumers as people with appetite for
material goods but as human beings concerned about the condition of the world around them. The corporations that excel in green marketing are those that are basically pro-active in nature. These
organizations consider themselves to be interdependent with nature's processes. Outside they join hands environmental stakeholders in cooperative, positive alliances, and they work hand in hand with
suppliers and retailers to manage environmental issues throughout the value chain. Internally – cross functional teams convene to find the best possible holistic solutions to environmental challenges. These
companies essentially have a long term rather than short term orientation approach with an intention of not only making profits but also contributing to the society by socio cause-related marketing approach.
Although there are many companies who have started this approach, I would like to quote the example of Eastman Kodak's recyclable cameras. Eastman Kodak company introduced Kodak
fun-saver 35mm one time use camera, which were designed not to be discarded but to be recycled and re used after reimbursement to the consumer. In late 1996, the company reported that more than 80 million one time
use cameras had been recycled or reused saving 800 tractor loads of waste and also substantial savings in raw material and energy since 86% of each camera is reused, only the lens, battery and
packaging are new, everything else is reused.
1. The world commission on Environment And Development, Our Common Future - Oxford University
Press – 1987.
2. California Management review, Towards The Sustainable Corporation, Winter 1994 (P. 90-99)
3. "The Return of Roper's True – Blue Greens: Less is More" Green Market alert, Carl Frankel,
ed. Feb 1994.
4. "Environmental conference" : Green Marketing from a Marketer's perspective," Hayward, Susan, of Yankelovich, Clancy, and Shulman, Presentation to the AMA, October 1991
5. "Green Marketing and Management " – a Global perspective, John F. Wasik, Blackwell Publishers 1996.
6. "Environmental Marketing : Strategies, Practice , Theory and Research," Michael J
Polonsky and Alma T. Mintu Wimsatt, eds The Haworth Press, Inc, New York 1995.
7. "Green Marketing – Opportunity for Innovation," Jacquelyn A. Ottman, 2nd
Editions (P. 1 – 44)
8. "Green consumers in the 1990s: - Profile and implication for advertising," James A Roberts, Baylor University, Journal of Business Research Vol.36. P.226