Respond to both peer post, citing one reference in each response. Only 200 words needed per post. This must be completed by 6:00 PM tonight (eastern time zone).

Respond to both peer post, citing one reference in each response. Only 200 words needed per post. This must be completed by 6:00 PM tonight  (eastern time zone). 

Post 1. Marketing sustainability can be somewhat tricky. A company will tend to want to play into a person’s conscious in their advertising. For example, they may say that they want you to recycle their containers to keep the earth clean for the future. There is also the issue that people tend to think “green” when it comes to large things, like vehicles or large appliances. Often consumers don’t think about it when buying toiletries or other small items. Relating to the first issue, is that consumers really want to know what is in the purchase for them. When marketing for sustainability, it is important to touch on this self-centeredness, so to speak. Related, is the concept of consumer surplus, which is “the difference between what one is willing to pay and what one actually must pay to acquire a service or product.” (Epstein & Buhovac, 2014, p. 147) The idea is that an environmental benefit on top of the benefit received from the actual product or service would be considered a consumer surplus.

The article I found lists out three benefits that can help a company market sustainability successfully. The first benefit is a functional benefit. This shows what a product or service can physically do for the customer. “This includes promises of value for money, performance, quality, efficacy, safety or ease of use.” (Townsend & Niemtzow, 2015) The second benefit is one of emotion. Basically, will the product or service make the customer feel better about themselves (eg. smarter or better looking). The third benefit is a social one. Somewhat similar to the emotional one, it plays on person’s desire to be cool or successful. “For example, research shows that many Prius drivers are motivated by the idea that driving this car demonstrates that they are modern, early-adopters who care about the environment.” (Townsend & Niemtzow, 2015)

Epstein, M. J., & Buhovac, A. R. (2014). Making Sustainability Work. San Fransico, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Townsend, S., & Niemtzow, E. (2015, March 9). The problem with sustainability marketing? Not enough me, me, me. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/behavioural-insights/2015/mar/09/problem-sustainability-marketing-not-enough-me

Post 2. Marketing the impact of sustainability initiatives can be difficult because companies need differentiate between and balance their marketing between gaining trust for their product and gaining trust for their company. For instance, Company A may make a great (well-known) bathroom cleaner, one that performs better than most of its competitors. The problem is that Company A pollutes more and makes dishonest business deals that are bad for stakeholders. Company B makes a similar performing product, but in a responsible manner that improves the community and the environment. The problem for Company B is that their costs are higher, which drives up the price of their product. In this case they must earn the trust that actually are doing good, or “walking the talk” (Ottman & Mallen, 2014).

In the hypothetical example, Company B’s challenge is connect personally with consumers to shift their dollars to their product: or perhaps to their cause. To do so, a company should be transparent, allowing consumers to see their good and their bad. Most sustainable companies provide detailed information about their impact. One that I researched last week was King Arthur Flour in Vermont. The company provides funding and volunteers for community improvements. They implemented food access resources in many communities around the USA, and they use sustainable sources for their grains and packaging. They also have a great product, which makes marketing easier for them because both their product and their company are desirable choices for consumers.

Marketing sustainability can also be a “Catch 22”. Consider Enbridge, Inc. which comes in at an impressive 39 on Forbes 2017 of most sustainable companies (Forbes, 2017). This is no doubt impressive and Enbridge has accomplished major sustainability milestones that have improved the global community. However, if the company touts their accomplishments too loudly, they are opening themselves up to continued public onslaught regarding the environmental damage done in their recent major oil spills, and the continued controversy in Michigan regarding aging pipelines. From a marketing standpoint, they may have to tread more lightly than other companies with a better track record.

References:

Kauflin, J. (2017). The world’s most sustainable companies. Forbes. Obtained from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2017/01/17/the-worlds-most-sustainable-companies-2017/#64c353994e9d

King Arthur Flour Company. (2017). Social responsibility. Retrieved from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/about/social-responsibility.html

Ottman, J. & Mallen, D. (2014). 5 green marketing strategies to earn customer trust. GreenBiz. Retrieved from https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/01/14/five-strategies-avoid-taint-greenwash-your-business







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