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					     Differentiation Via Green 2 Re-Connect w/ Consumers

       Green marketing began in the 1980’s, with the implementation of Corporate

Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports, which provided an overview of companies’

environmental, social, and financial impactsi. Green marketing is a relatively burgeoning

field within the industry. It’s intriguing in the fact that its implementation is currently

being tested by new and innovative marketing means & metrics. The very definition of

what it means to be “green” is heavily debated. But one point that remains clear; There is

a market for green products, a market that will yield considerable profit, but the crux of

green marketing is understanding how to exploit demand in the green market. ii.

       Arylessence TrendWatch, a report that shows factors that influence and drive

consumers purchasing decisions, refers to a new “deep trend” occurring called the “Eco

Evolution”; a profound change in how global corporations, small entrepreneurs and

consumers alike now think about the world, sharing a commitment to sustainability,

protecting the planet, reducing waste and using resources responsibly.iii

       The fundamental ideal behind the eco movement is: consume less. This presents a

paradox to typical ‘more is better’ consumer behavior of previous generations. According

to Trendwatching.com, ruthless capitalism is no longer in fashion.ivIn its place has

emerged a shift in consumer morals, and hence changes in the way consumers behave.

87% of Americans say that global warming is not the point—it’s all about trash and

waste reductionv And in it’s essence, this is truly what the Eco-Movement is; an effort to

reduce our impact on the earth by adopting more sustainable manufacturing and

consumption processes.
       The Eco-Movement is a paramount shift in consumer behavior, marking a

changing point not only in how products are sourced and produced, but also in how

marketers will sell these products to the enlightened consumer.


   Current Industry Trends According to The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budgetvi:

       Fashion- is about more than your look; it’s about how your look came to be

Consumer’s Perspective:

“Consumers seem to feel good about being green, but suspect that they must sacrifice
something in quality, styling, or performance”vii

       The green movement is an expanding movement with 12% of the population

actively considering or purchasing green merchandise.viii The problem confronting the

green consumer is the misconception of what it actually means to be green. While 40% of

consumers say they are willing to purchase green products, only 4% of consumers

actually do when given the choice.ix In a recent Green Cap Survey, conducted by Cone

LLC, only 22% of consumers understand that “going green” means having a less harmful

impact on the earth, rather than the common misconception of affecting the earth

positively. Rather than more-positive construction, the green movement, at its simplest,

emphasizes less-negative destruction.

       The problem with the existing connotation is it implies more of a benefit to

society; and, given ‘rational’ consumer thought, more benefit typically implies a greater

cost. 58% of global consumers think that environmentally friendly products are too

expensive, while 33% of global consumers think that environmentally friendly products

don't work as well.x Consumers blame retailers for the lack of education, with only 6% of

consumers rating retailers as excellent or very good at educating the consumer on green. xi
For retailers, failing to educate the consumer may be the reason for missing out on the

47%xiiof consumers that sat they will occasionally consider or purchase green-orientated

merchandise, effectively broadening the demographic to 60% of the population.


Marketer’s Perspective:

       Arylessence Marketing Director, Lori Miller Burns, states, ““People are

demanding the best quality, multiple benefits, maximum performance, and less waste

from products that cost less…for these products, consumers are willing to pay premium

prices.”xiii This seems to hold a solution to the paradox of the eco-movement: consumers

are willing to pay a premium for consuming less.

       An incredible 84% of Americans said environmental consideration is important in

their consumer preferences. Furthermore, 2 in 3 Americans are ready to make changes

that will allow them to live a more ‘eco-conscious’ lifexiv

       ‘The number one challenge for governments, consumers and businesses in 2011

remains the quest for more environmentally sustainable societies and economies”xvThe

paragon of sustainability is efficiency; and in order to achieve maximum efficiency;

economies of scale are required.

       From a marketing perspective, the trend know as ‘Urbany’ (via economy watch),

may provide a successful platform to market eco products and services. Currently, more

than half the world’s population lives in cities; by 2050 that number is expected to climb

to 70%xvi. Given the enormous economies of scale that cities provide, this demographic

shift will naturally provide opportunities for government, businesses and individual

consumers to live and/or provide sustainable lifestyles and services.
       In addition to the increase in availability of eco products, the quality of eco

products has risen substantially over the years. In its early stages, being ‘eco’ was a very

niche market, composed mainly of naturalists. As eco ideas and concepts have become a

part of mainstream culture, the production process is also revolutionized. In

“Greentailing”, the author’s research shows that green products have a stigma of lower

quality associated with them. We attribute that to the grass-roots effect, and have come to

favor the new concept of ‘Eco Superior’: products that are not only eco-friendly, but

superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way; think a combination of eco-

friendly yet superior functionality, superior design, and/or superior savings.xvii

       With the emergence of this enlightened consumer industry comes the emergence

of the enlightened consumer as well as marketer, aka the ‘Eco Mom”. “Women and

especially moms are very wary of the impact of the products and services in their lives,

and how these impact the health of their familyxviii. And as the heads of the house, not

only are Eco Mom’s wary of the impact of products and services on their families, but

their support of the products of tomorrow will be essential to the bottom line of any

corporation. 35% of EcoMoms are sending their children to school with waste-free

lunches and snacksxix “Brands with or who want to build equity with moms around

nurturing and responsibility themes have a powerful platform here,” recommends Linda

Gilbert, CEO of EcoFocus. “It’s a new archetype that will define next generation

products and communications.”


Implications for Marketing Strategy:

       About a third of the population report that they are changing their purchasing

behavior to shop retailers who are implementing greener practicesxx
       "While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful,
       serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more
       sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving
       much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives
       to begin with.xxi

       Given that 2 in 4 Americans agree that a cleaner planet starts at homexxii, the eco

trend seems to be taking roots around the individual consumer rather than mass-market

consumption. Timothy Kenyon of GfK Roper Consulting states “the demands of

environmentally-friendly products and corporate social responsibility have not only gone

mainstream, but have taken root in people’s values systems.” xxiiiThe niche characteristic

that defines eco advertising and is the most important characteristic in determining how

to advertise is the fact that the advantages of eco sell themselves, morally and

arguably by necessity even. Eco is about simplicity. Consumers of the eco culture are

looking for technology and innovation that makes life simpler or increases the overall

quality of life. In terms of marketing, a similar strategy should be employed; “Businesses

should make life easy for consumers. The easier it is for consumers to buy sustainable

products, the more successful the company will be.”xxiv


So how do businesses – no matter what size – reach out to mainstream consumers
according to Green Economy Post? xxv

   1. Speak to “My world, My life:” relate to an issue that consumers can easily
      relate to, such as their health or their children’s safety.
   2. Beware of missionary marketing: consumers are not looking to save the planet
      and missionary marketing messages will fall short in driving brand awareness
      and sales.
   3. Keep it positively interesting: green products should be cool, or at least make
      people feel good when buying, consuming or using them. Images of polar bears
      sinking won’t get traction in the new green economy.
   4. Help sort it out: consumers want to adopt environmentally sustainable
      behaviors, but most don’t know how. Clarify in your marketing materials exactly
      how your product helps the environment and the community
   5. Keep it clean: customers want to deal with clean products and will buy those
      with no toxic chemicals.
   6. Make a visible difference: people want to be perceived as green too. The more
      environmentally responsible you are, and the more impact you have in the green
      industry, the more customers will buy your product (or service).
   7. Bring it closer to home: at the end of the day, consumers are more concerned
      with issues that directly impact their lives, such as their child’s health or the
      quality of the air in their office. Relate to something they personally relate to, and
      your brand awareness will go up

       The eco movement is based in reality, and as such, marketing needs to be

realistically honest. Marketers have included facts in their commercials that surprise

consumers about the way current trends affect the environment. Scott’s new Roll-less

Toilet Paper has removed the cardboard roll from the inside of the tube. “The innovation

could eliminate millions of pounds of cardboard material, much of which is not recycled

by customers. Alyson Gomez, a spokeswoman for Kimberly-Clark, said toilet paper tubes

account for 160 million pounds of waste in the U.S. every year. ‘End to end it can take

you to the moon and back twice.’” xxvi

       Overall, we tend to see a polarization of the consumer in the eco trend. On one

side there is the environmentally uneducated & low environmental importance consumers

while on the other end there is the environmentally conscious and environmentally active

consumers. The educated consumer invests in green products because it’s logical via

analysis. These consumers however are currently purchasing within the green industry. It

is the environmentally uneducated and low environmental importance consumer, which

comprises the majority of the population, that eco marketers will have the challenge of

convincing to go green. Trendwatcher.com reports that in order to target this

demographic, we can expect to see: a number of leading brands in 2011 switch from

purely marketing their products' sustainability and eco-friendliness and taking aim right
at the heart of traditional alternatives: stressing the superior quality and design,

increased durability and/or lower running costs of products in ways that will appeal to

even the most eco-skeptic, self-centered or financially-challenged consumer.xxvii



i
     McClendon, By Emily. "Clearing the Air About Green Marketing." SuperGreenMe - Green Social Network, Eco Living Tips, Video, Reviews, News. 4
              June 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.supergreenme.com/go-green-environment-eco:Clearing-the-Air-About-Green-Marketing>.
ii
      McClendon, By Emily. "Clearing the Air About Green Marketing." SuperGreenMe - Green Social Network, Eco Living Tips, Video, Reviews, News. 4
               June 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.supergreenme.com/go-green-environment-eco:Clearing-the-Air-About-Green-Marketing>.
iii
      "“Eco Evolution” Still Key Consumer Trend « Good and Green Essentials." Good and Green Essentials. 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010.
               <http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/“eco-evolution”-still-key-consumer-trend/>.
iv
      "“Eco Evolution” Still Key Consumer Trend « Good and Green Essentials." Good and Green Essentials. 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010.
               <http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/“eco-evolution”-still-key-consumer-trend/>.
v
      Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June 2010.
                 Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
vi
      Dorfman, Josh. The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget: save Money, save Time, save the Planet. New York: Stewart,Tabori & Chang, 2009. Print.
vii
       Stern, Neil Z., and Willard N. Ander. Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail: Hot Ideas That Are Grabbing Customer's Attention and Raising
                  Profits. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. P.61
viii
       Stern, Neil Z., and Willard N. Ander. Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail: Hot Ideas That Are Grabbing Customer's Attention and Raising
                 Profits. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. P.58
ix
      Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Pages/AMA Publications/AMA Journals/Journal of
               Marketing/TOCs/JMTOC_2010.5.aspx>.
x
      "GfK Roper Green Gauge Report: U.S. One of the More Environmentally Cynical Nations « Good and Green Essentials." Good and Green Essentials.
               Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/1100/>.
xi
      Stern, Neil Z., and Willard N. Ander. Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail: Hot Ideas That Are Grabbing Customer's Attention and Raising
                 Profits. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. P.59
xii
       Stern, Neil Z., and Willard N. Ander. Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail: Hot Ideas That Are Grabbing Customer's Attention and Raising
                 Profits. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. P.58
xiii
       "“Eco Evolution” Still Key Consumer Trend « Good and Green Essentials." Good and Green Essentials. 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010.
               <http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/“eco-evolution”-still-key-consumer-trend/>.
xiv
       Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xv
       "Trendwatching.com's December 2010 Trend Briefing Covering 11 CRUCIAL CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2011." Trendwatching.com: Consumer
                Trends and Insights from around the World. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://trendwatching.com/briefing/>.
xvi
       Timimi, Keith. "Future Trends: Top 10 Consumer Trends for 2010 | Economy Watch." World, US, China, India Economy, Investment, Finance, Credit
                Cards | Economy Watch. 3 Dec. 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/future-
                trends-top-10-consumer-trends-for-2010-3-12.html>.
xvii
        "Trendwatching.com's December 2010 Trend Briefing Covering 11 CRUCIAL CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2011." Trendwatching.com: Consumer
                Trends and Insights from around the World. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://trendwatching.com/briefing/>.
xviii
        Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xix
       Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xx
       Stern, Neil Z., and Willard N. Ander. Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail: Hot Ideas That Are Grabbing Customer's Attention and Raising
                  Profits. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. Print. P. 61
xxi
       "Trendwatching.com's December 2010 Trend Briefing Covering 11 CRUCIAL CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2011." Trendwatching.com: Consumer
               Trends and Insights from around the World. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://trendwatching.com/briefing/>.
xxii
        Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                  2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xxiii
        "“Eco Evolution” Still Key Consumer Trend « Good and Green Essentials." Good and Green Essentials. 17 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010.
                <http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/“eco-evolution”-still-key-consumer-trend/>.
xxiv
        Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xxv
        Riberio, Sofia. "Sustainable Brands And Consumer Attitudes." The Green Economy Post: Green Careers, Green Business, Sustainability. 18 June
                  2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://greeneconomypost.com/sb10-consumer-attitudes-eco-moms-10535.htm>.
xxvi
        Bell, Mellissa. "BlogPost - The Roll-less Toilet Paper Roll. Best Invention Ever?" Blog Directory (washingtonpost.com). 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Dec.
                 2010. <http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/10/the_roll-less_toilet_paper_rol.html>.
xxvii
        "Trendwatching.com's December 2010 Trend Briefing Covering 11 CRUCIAL CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2011." Trendwatching.com: Consumer
               Trends and Insights from around the World. Web. 02 Dec. 2010. <http://trendwatching.com/briefing/>.

References:

Arnold, Tim. “Is Luxury Dead? Maybe Not.” Ad Age Pub. 06 Apr 2010. 17 Apr 2011. <http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/luxury-dead/143147/>.

Forbes.com. “Ralph Lauren.” Forbes.com 17 Apr 2011. <http://people.forbes.com/profile/ralph-lauren/64486>.

Ralph Lauren Media. “Ralph Lauren.” 17 Apr 2011. <http://www.ralphlauren.com/frontdoor/index.jsp>.

Ralph Lauren Media. “Ralph Lauren Investors.” 17 Apr 2011. <http://about.ralphlauren.com/investor.asp>.

Ralph Lauren Media. “RL Style Guide Spring 2011.” 17 Apr 2011. <http://style.ralphlauren.com/askralph/default.asp>.

Sawyer, Philip. “Why Print Advertising Isn’t Working.” Ad Age Pub. 09 Aug 2010. 17 Apr 2011. <http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/media-print-
            advertising-working/145281/>.

Tsirulnik, Giselle. “Ralph Lauren is 2009 Mobile Marketer of the Year.” Mobile Marketer. Pub. 15 Jan 2011. 17 Apr 2011.
             <http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/5106.html>.

				
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