Marketing & sustainability

1333 Words May 16th, 2014 6 Pages
The relevance of sustainability in marketing decision making
What is marketing?
What exactly is marketing? Is it just convincing people to buy products through various media? Billboards, TV commercials, junk mail and magazines filled with advertisements? From the consumer’s perspective, that is how it seems (Kotler et al. 2010, p. 5). But from a business’s standpoint, marketing is viewed very differently. Marketing is viewed as being based on an exchange relationship between a business and its customers, where a business offers something of value, and customers purchase this product, which provides the business with the means to continue producing this item of value (Moscardo et al. 2010, p. 277).
Where does sustainability fit into
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Products labelled as “organic”, “biodegradable”, “made from recycled material” or other similar green claims are generally priced higher than conventional products (Kotler et al, 2010 pg 405). Low income earners, students, pensioners and the unemployed may not be able to afford a premium on sustainable products and will buy the cheapest alternative conventional product.
Also, not all products on the market may have an available green alternative and therefore the consumer has no choice but to purchase a non-green product (Moscardo et al. 2010, p. 284).
Greenwashing
In the text, the issue of greenwashing was addressed and its impact on consumer purchase decisions and on the sustainability market. Greenswashing can be described as “the practice of overemphasising a company 's environmental credentials, often by misinforming the public or understating potentially harmful activities” (Doyle 2011). The practice of greenwashing has led to consumers being more sceptical of products marketed as ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’. This scepticism may result in consumers avoiding sustainable products for fear that the ‘green’ labelling may indicate an inferior product using promises of sustainable resources and production to increase its prices (Rettie Burchell & Riley 2012, p. 422).
One Study in Norway showed that labelling of products was considered the most indicative way to ensure the sustainability of the
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