Green Marketing Research Proposal

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Green Marketing

As consumers become more aware of an ailing environment and the potential economic benefit that can be derived from 'going green', businesses are increasingly adopting 'Green Marketing' practices to meet the rising consumer expectations and increasing demand. In addition, today's increasingly competitive marketplace means that organizations are looking for ways to differentiate their product, beyond the traditional facets of price, quality, and service. Green marketing can help provide that competitive advantage. The question then becomes -- What is Green Marketing?

According to Ward, Green Marketing refers to the marketing of services and/or products based on their environmental benefits. The product or service itself does not necessarily have to be environmentally friendly. Instead, it can be manufactured with and/or packaged in an environmentally responsible way. The American Marketing Association defines Green Marketing as

(retailing definition) The marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. 2. (social marketing definition) The development and marketing of products designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve its quality. 3. (environments definition) The efforts by organizations to produce, promote, package, and reclaim products in a manner that is sensitive or responsive to ecological concerns ("Dictionary").

These aspects are then promoted to consumers as a means of building value in the product or service.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Proposal on Green Marketing Assignment

As more consumers are becoming environmentally conscious, it is assumed that, through Green Marketing, consumers will perceive a product or service's 'greenness' as valuable. This added value will differentiate the product or service from their competitors and garner it a competitive advantage, as it positively influences consumers' buying decisions, according to Ward. In addition, due to the perceived added value, consumers may be willing to pay more for products marketed as being green, than one that does not have this added environmental benefit. To better understand this recent marketing phenomenon, a brief history of Green Marketing will be given, followed by an exploration of the issues that Green Marketing addresses. The positive and negative aspects of Green Marketing will be discussed. Lastly, current trends in Green Marketing will be overviewed.

History of Green Marketing:

Although there was some attention to environmentally centric marketing in the 1970s, Peattie and Crane note that it wasn't until the late 1980s that the concept of Green Marketing truly emerged. Academics of the time surmised that a "rapid increase in consumerism at this time (heralded) a dramatic and inevitable shift in consumption towards greener products" (357). Peattie and Crane cite several studies to further explain that the late 1980s and early 1990s saw a growing body of research supporting the ideas of a heightened environmental awareness, along with an increased interest in green products by consumers, and an increased willingness to pay more for green features. This was demonstrated by the global consumer boycott of CFC-driven aerosol products that was extremely successful in removing these products from market.

By 1990, Peattie and Crane cite market research findings that 92% of European multinationals had claimed to have revamped their products, in response to green concerns, while 85% had altered their production systems. Between 1989 and 1990, green product introductions doubled for all new household products, in the United States. The volume of green print ads grew by 430%, during this time, with green TV ads increasing by 367%. However, by the mid-1990s, new market research was less than clear regarding the growth of green consumerism and that there was a significant gap between environmental concern and actual product purchasing habits, with consumers. The 21st century has seen a resurgence in environmental concern. However, instead of the green specific marketing campaigns of the 1980s, today Green Marketing is a component of a well-rounded marketing plan that addresses a variety of issues.

Issues Green Marketing Addresses:

Today, Green Marketing addresses a variety of issues for both consumers and the organizations themselves. The driving issue behind Green Marketing is the environment. Finite resources and global warming have been concerns for decades. The E.P.A. notes that the past two centuries of fossil fuel burning and deforestation has had significant negative effects on the planet. These items have caused an increase in greenhouse gases, which prevents heat from escaping into space. As the concentrations of these gases continues to increase, the Earth's average temperature is rising. Citing NOAA and NASA data, the E.P.A. surmises that the average surface temperature on Earth has risen by approximately 1.2 to 1.4°F, in the last century. These changes affect snow and ice cover, rainfall patterns, and sea levels and are due to human activities ("Basic Information"). Green products can help in a variety of ways.

This information has been a continuing concern for consumers for more than a generation and, as such, Green Marketing focuses on how products can address these issues. Reduced greenhouse gases from manufacturing, and an associated educed carbon footprint, are specifically aimed at global warming concerns. Reduced waste in packaging, resulting in less waste in landfills is another attempt at addressing environmental issues. Utilizing recycled product in the manufacture of new products address both global warming and concerns about increasing waste. In addition, consumers have recently found green products that are less expensive, over the long run -- such as CFL lightbulbs, which has been a recent slant to many Green Marketing campaigns. Organizations too have concerns that are addressed by Green Marketing.

Green Marketing specifically helps organizations differentiate their product or service from others on the market. In an increasingly competitive and globalized world, businesses may not be able to compete solely on more traditional aspects such as: price, quality and service. Going green not only allows them to utilize their sustainability facets as benefits to their product or service, but also can help build brand image. Companies such as Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, and Dell are all on Newsweek's Top 500 greenest companies list for 2009. This positive media attention is an excellent addition to any brand's image. The prevalence of Green Marketing has also forced corporations to undertake green initiatives, in order to stay competitive. Oftentimes, there are cost savings associated with green strategies -- such as reduced material usage and reduced waste costs. This results in increased profitability for the organization. However, there are both positive and negative aspects of Green Marketing.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Green Marketing:

Locally, positive aspects of Green Marketing can be a boon to local businesses. When the environmental benefits, such as reduced transportation times and therefore reduced emissions, are promoted for local businesses, this can have a positive effect on sales. Green Marketing can give small, local companies a competitive advantage against larger corporations. This is becoming especially important in times when the big box retailers, like WalMart, are pushing so many small businesses out of business. Another positive local impact comes in the addressing of one of the primary consumer's issues -- waste disposal.

When one organization decides to use Green Marketing as a business strategy, this leads others to consider this same avenue, in order to remain competitive. With Green Marketing, there is the associated processes that have to be put in place in order to either produce environmentally friendly products or services, or to use environmentally friendly processes and/or materials in the production of these products or services. This often results in reduced waste, both in the manufacturing process and in the waste generated by the end consumer. Reduced waste means less environmental stress on local landfills, all thanks to Green Marketing and it giving other organizations incentive to follow suit. These positive effects can be felt globally as well.

One of the primary benefits of Green Marketing is the attention it gives to the whole environmental issue. As more companies use Green Marketing to promote their products, more consumers will start to see the need for green products and services. This increased global consciousness, concerning the environment, can not only help shape purchasing patterns, but other societal aspects as well -- like political and legislative decisions. In addition, as on the local scale, Green Marketing by one organization also gives other organizations motivation to go green as well.

The result of this global motivation is a snowball effect. In order to remain competitive, more and more organizations will turn to environmentally friendly products, processes, and procedures. This, in turn, will force others to make similar efforts. With today's globalized marketplace, this catalyst can start with an organization in one country and quickly spread around the globe. In addition, in an effort to remain competitive, investing in product innovation concerning environmentally responsible products and services will be an increasing part of business strategy, thanks to Green Marketing and the benefits it can yield. Despite these positive aspects of Green Marketing, there are negative aspects as well.

One negative aspect of Green Marketing is the confusion some campaigns cause with consumers. Vague or purposefully deceptive campaigns can mislead consumers. This can erode consumer confidence in all Green Marketing programs. For this reason, the Federal Trade Commission has established strict regulations for Green Marketing ("Green… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Green Marketing" Research Proposal in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Green Marketing.  (2009, November 10).  Retrieved September 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Green Marketing."  10 November 2009.  Web.  17 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Green Marketing."  November 10, 2009.  Accessed September 17, 2021.