Green Product Challeges

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by: David Wigder

Green products can be a win-win for all, aligning societal benefits with consumer ones. More typically, however, green products are challenged by three issues, in that they:

Offer Benefits that Consumers Undervalue
Consumers typically undervalue the social benefits from green products. How could they when social benefits are typically less tangible and represent only one of many considerations when making a purchase decision?

Require Tradeoffs
Today, consumers access shopping bots to find the exact product that fits into their lifestyle, at the price they are willing to pay. This may not necessarily be the case for green products, as they typically impose tradeoffs in terms of price, design, functionality or performance in order to deliver green benefits. Take hybrids, for example. Greater fuel efficiency typically requires a compromise in performance.

Target Underdeveloped Markets
Green markets are nascent. As such, green companies may face the twofold challenge of marketing a new product and cultivating a new market category. Consumer adoption may be slow, impeded by limited choice (few manufacturers), high product costs (until production volumes increase) and consumer inertia (wait and see attitudes).

While these issues are by no means limited only to green products, they indeed pose special challenges for marketers and require specific strategies and tactics to overcome.

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