Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Green Marketing for Sustainability

Corporates are today focusing on economic, social and ecological responsibility and consumers on other hand are becoming more conscious of the natural environment .In order to address the concerns of the consumers, businesses are modifying their practices by promoting environmentally safe or beneficial products which has led to the emergence of green marketing .The green products are introduced that are less damaging to the environment. Thus, for the business world –wide ecological marketing and its applications in practice have become a competitive prerogative that guides the behavior of the entire organization. Green brands are that which offer significant eco-advantage over the incumbents and which appeal to those who are willing to make green a priority. Studies have found that 8-10 percent of people are up for dark green lifestyle like composing and micro-generation ; 20-40 percent of people are for light green changes e.g., smaller cars ,fewer flights and 60-80 percent of people are up for non-brainers ,such as turning down thermostats to save energy and at the same time heating bills.

Positioning a brand as “green brand” entails an active communication and differentiation of the brand from its competitors through its environmentally sound attributes. Ecologically sustainable products will not be commercially successful if green brand attributes are not successfully communicated. Green positioning strategies can be based on relevant environmental advantage of the product compared to competing conventional product and may be referred to as production process, product use and /or product elimination. Functional positioning strategies can aim to build brand association by delivering information on environmentally sound product attributes .However, in most of the cases the consumers will experience the functional benefits only in case of generalized environmentally sound consumer behavior but such strategies can easily be imitated as they assume rational buying decision and may reduce the flexibility of brand differentiation.

The green building movement, spearheaded by the Confederation of Indian industry (CII) - Godrej Green business Center, has gained tremendous impetus over the last few years. F Even the ongoing global financial crisis is unlikely to prove a deterrent to this growing green agenda, with clean technology being viewed as the vehicle of growth in 2009. In today’s scenario Indian companies have an array of green computing alternatives to choose from, with large IT vendors including Intel, EMC, IBM and Microsoft, offering more energy-efficient and environment-friendly products. Intel recently unleashed the Atom processor built for low-power mobile Internet devices, as well as its second-generation quad-core Xeon processor 5400 designed to offer greater energy efficiency and the multitasking performance necessary to maximize virtualization efforts.

Thus, as there is growing awareness among the consumers all over the world regarding protection of the environment in which they live, people do want to bequeath a clean earth to their offspring and the market needs to operate within a society in which sustainability is more than adopted as a public policy goals , but actively pursued through policy implementation.

Contributed by: Dr. Sapna Parashar

Monday, February 23, 2009


Neuromarketing is a decade old concept. It all gained importance in 2004 when a half-dozen scientists from the Baylor College of Medicine published a research paper on change in brand preference to cola brands by using a Siemens Allegra 3T functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) brain scanner. The study concluded that when exposed to Coke labels, soda drinkers who hadn't previously expressed much brand preference suddenly had affection for the Real Thing. The drinkers' noggins lit up like Christmas trees after they sipped the branded Coca-Cola. The results demonstrated that Pepsi should have half the market share, but in reality consumers are buying Coke for reasons related less to their taste preferences and more to their experience with the Coke brand. In other words, our brains confirm that the brand with the more effective marketing wins and can even fake out our taste buds. The field of neuromarketing is growing up. While large corporations employ neuromarketing firms to conduct costly fMRI studies, a new breed of marketing upstarts with neuromarketing expertise is promising smaller entrepreneurs the same kind of knowledge without the high costs of custom lab research.

But basically what exactly is neuromarketing? Well, it is the practice of using brain-wave product feedback to target goods and services to our subconscious appetites. Neuromarketing is the application of this huge amount of information that's available in the literature in terms of how people make decisions. Technically speaking a research study conducted explains the concept as : Consistent with neuroimaging evidence suggests that distinct circuits anticipates gain and loss, product preference activates the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), while excessive prices activates the insula and deactivates the mesial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) prior to the purchase decision. Activity from each of these regions independently predicted immediately subsequent purchases above and beyond self-report variables. These findings suggest that activation of distinct neural circuits related to anticipatory affect precedes and supports consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Christophe Morin in his book “ Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer's Brain” , says entrepreneurs can improve their products, services, marketing and advertising by learning six keys to neuromarketing : We are self centered, we crave contrasts, we are naturally lazy, we like stories, we are visual and emotion trumps reason. In future, marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to analyze consumer’s preference in an effective way. Personally asking question would involve a cognitive bias. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain's response. Consumers’ reaction to the color of the packaging, various attractive shapes, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not would be understood by the marketers through neuromarketing.

The main idea is that the decision is made and influenced by the subconscious part of the brain and by generally asking people about their preferences may only give us partial information about the factors actually influencing their purchasing behaviors. Also there are some things which consumers avoid to say when asked about their buying decisions due to emotions attached or the pride factor.However, this study is still in nascent stage and has a long way to go. Also the relevance of the initial results is not very convincing. Some analysts also fear the manipulative use of neuromarketing on children and marketing of harmful products. Every technology has positive and negative aspects. However, proper use of neuromarketing will help the marketers in making better decisions in the future and while integrating technology to increase the profits for organizations.

Contributed by: Abhishek Muley

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