Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Perspective - Green Marketing by Aakash Joshi & Nihal Dahal || IMT Nagpur || July 2015 Edition

Green Marketing 
Aakash Joshi & Nihal Dahal || IMT Nagpur

Change is the only thing that is con- stant in this world. Marketing has since ages depended and acted accord- ing to the change that takes place in the society and so indirectly it implies that marketing is also a constant; invariable, universal. Marketing as a field never grows from time to time. It never changes in decades or in years. It is a continuous evolution process, which takes place every day, with every new firm or product coming and marketing in a different way and giving the industry a new approach to think upon and a new way of marketing to try. One such as- pect of marketing that was in existence from years but finally is gaining the necessary awareness that it should have gained years back is green marketing. Green Marketing is a term coined decades back and even implemented to some extent but not fully in the corporate world. Green Marketing refers to the marketing of the products which are environment friendly and preferable for the consumers. It includes sustainable packaging, changing the way the products are advertised and many more such activities. It is different from the regular marketing in many ways as the product differs in manufacturing, pack aging as well as in the quality with respect to the regular product. Go GREEN:-What and Why?

Global warming is increasing day by day, pollution levels are rising high, non-renewable sources of energy are being used up at a high rate with the ever-increasing population. In addition to these many more factors are getting consumed at a higher rate, which may or may not be renewed in the near or long future. Seeing this, it is becoming nearly impossible to expect a life similar to what we are living presently in future too. It will not be the same if things continue to drain up at this pace and also if the environment will be harmed in such a way. Considering this present scenario as a continuous process, the future does not look bright. It will be worse than this. The only surviving factor for present and a hope for a better future is to go green; that is the only feasible option seen presently to have a better present and save the future of mother earth. Go green is a process of utilizing the means provided by nature in abundance and friendly to environment and producing the products which satisfy our regular needs using them, instead of using the scarce and unhealthy resources for doing the same. It helps in saving the environment from various harmful effects. As a result to make a green friendly environment, the production and usage of green products should be kept as the priority for the nation to protect itself and save its future. Go green is an old concept existing and implemented two decades back, but the results were restricted to a particular segment or sector of industry. People tried, executed and obtained the results but the results were not accepted by the society with great enthusiasm and so the concept of going green got restricted in the womb from where it was supposed to emerge.

Green Products 

Green products thus produced considering the environment factor are very different in many ways. They are pure in terms of quality and so in many cases even costlier than the present available products. Green products also may not appear as charming as the artificial ones. For example an idol of Lord Ganesh prepared from Plaster of Paris appears to be more charming than that prepared from mud. But considering the final place where they are decomposed i.e. river, an idol made from mud doesn’t harms the river as an idol prepared from Plaster of Paris does. This and many more are the reasons why the green products are considered, and as a result they should be marketed too, so that the environmental concern can be supported by the masses.

Green Marketing: 
Why and How? Issues and Solutions Green products are different from the regular ones, in terms of manufacturing, packaging as well as cost. But their usage is the same as the rest of the products. 
In that case many questions arise. Why will a consumer buy a green product, when he is already happy with his present one? Why will a consumer opt for something which may be costlier to him than his regular product? Why will a consumer opt for a product which might appear less pleasing then the presently available ones? Why can’t it be a green washing scenario i.e. selling products with name of “going green” to the consumers wherein the products are not environment friendly and cheat the consumer with the nongreen products and earn more profit? It can be. Each of the above mentioned questions are true, and to answer such questions and many other conceptions as well as misconceptions regarding the green product, it needs a different type of marketing especially related to this segment. Marketing which doesn’t sell the products by making them available at cheap prices neither does it sells the products on their beautiful packaging or any such tactics and for that 
reason Green Marketing needs to be considered. When we need to sell a product which can last for some months or years to a consumer we can sell it via many means fair or unfair but when we need to sell an idea to a consumer which needs to last long for decades and decades to come and which is better for the environment too which indirectly is better for each and every one on the planet, some thinking and some detailing is required along with totally fair means. Green marketing focuses on relating the product to the consumer and its environment in which he or she is living. It creates an idea to the consumer that by purchasing a product for its cost, the consumer is not only getting the value of the material used but also getting a protected and safe environment for the future which is the additional benefit the product is giving. Moreover, even if the product’s cost is an important consideration its cost can be compared with the harmful cost to the environment which when converted to a purely monetary value would surely be greater than the additional nominal cost of the green product. Green products need to be marketed in a way different from the regular products and to a different segment of consumers who can buy such product or who are responsible enough to go green. Green marketing is all that is needed to make them aware. Creating a brand and making the product available for the consumer at low price is not the main priority here. 
The main priority is to make the consumer aware of the product in detail. As a result such marketing needs to be: 
  • Transparent in making the consumer known the contents of which the product is comprised of consumer
  • Its impact on the health of the consumer should be brought to notice 
  • Its long lasting features should be brought to attention and its effect on the environment should be shown to the society, which should indirectly relate to them and should be shown as their benefit.
  • Importance to the consumer should be given and their inputs and views should be taken care of 
  • Consumer should be made more aware and responsible for their environment and should consider the environment as his or her own and should feel privileged for helping in its betterment 
  • Promoting the Corporate Social Responsibility Act, and thereby making more and more companies to act in this direction 
  • Association of various NGO’s and public figures to act in this way and urge the masses to do the same

For whom to market green Products? 
Every product has a segment of consumers for it; same is with the green products. Its main segment is divided into 3 parts: 
1. Deep Green 
2. Lazy green 
3. Non-green

Deep Green
These consumers are totally driven by the betterment of the environment and in the given scenario where they have to make choice between a price benefit v/s green product and regular product v/s green product, they opt for the latter. To market product for these consumers, the association of the product in making the environment a better place is required.

Lighter Green
These consumers are conscious about their environment but also about the price they have to pay for it. In choosing between the green product and the price they analyse the difference between them on same scale. To market products for these consumers, the price of the product needs to be justified along with the returns the product can deliver back and also how can the environment be made better altogether.

Non Green 
These consumers are not driven by the environment benefits and only about the quality and price of the product. To market the products to them, the superiority of the product needs to be considered than any care for planet.

Main issues in Green Marketing
  1. The costing of these products is many a times higher as compared to the normal products because of the usage of the natural substances in them, which restricts a segment of consumers to rethink their choice of purchase 
  2. The outcome of the product may be far better than its normal product but many a times the outer look of the product appears less pleasing comparatively which diverts the choice of a particular segment 
  3. There also exists a crowd of people, who wish to buy green products and also to deliver their support in the betterment for the environment but on the day of purchase, they go ahead with their regular product
Feasible Solutions and Future of Green Marketing 

To go green is the future, and to make it a success the issues need to be tackled before moving ahead. The operations and manufacturing processes need to implement and try to reduce the costs without deviating from the quality so they can can compete with the regular products on the prices front. This also includes working on the appearance of the product. To the crowd of consumers who wishes to go for green product but end up buying the same, efforts should be made to clear their misconceptions and their viewpoints should be asked, considered and accordingly solutions should be brought forth for a win-win situation for both the seller and buyer.  Slowly and steadily the awareness is slowly creeping into the lives of people about green products and green marketing has a special contribution in making this happen. They are realizing the importance of it and supporting it either half-heartedly or whole heartedly. In such a scenario green marketing is a must in the future as to make more and more people aware about it and for that the responsibility to enhance that awareness comes on the shoulders of marketing. Green marketing needs to make attempts for the lighter green segment as well as the non-green segment of people to raise their thoughts and imagination to think about the value addition a green product can give with respect to the environment. The present needs to understand the future and for that Green Marketing is tasked with the responsibility of making this task happen. ||

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