GREEN MATERIALISM: FOOLING CUSTOMERS
OR HELPING THEM
Institute of Management Kashipur
of centrally held beliefs about the importance of possessions in one’s life” is
called as materialism. So it is considered as a part of consumer behaviour.
Materialism of the consumers plays an important role in the marketing style of
the brand or company. Materialism is considered as a socio-cultural phenomenon
where social factors and cultural factors come into play. In addition to
personal factors there are several cultural and social factors that play a
crucial role in the behaviour of the customer. Possessing more items is always
considered as the status symbol of the people in the society.
and consuming the products and services are always the central motives of
consumers in the developed nations. Materialism is always considered as the
requirement for the satisfaction of the human needs. Environmental concerns were
not even in the thoughts of the consumers. Humans with more materialism characteristic
are considered happy and satisfied with their life. But slowly people are
changing their mindsets to the fact that possession of goods does not provide
happiness. It is the characteristics such as quality of life, belonging and self-expression
that are considered as the factors that provide satisfaction to the people.
person in the developed countries are more materialistic than the persons in
developing or under developed countries. As the time is passing, the people in
developing countries are also getting more materialistic. The persons with
materialistic behaviour are considered to be less environmental conscious. This
in turn is putting a strain on environmental resources at the global level. Not
only while consuming the products but also after the use of the products. Just
by disposing them normally is causing pollution in the environment and damage
to the marine life and soil health.
behaviour is being influenced by cultural, social and personal factors. With
recent on goings like global warming, rising sea levels and deforestation,
sustainability is being considered as an important cultural factor. The people
around the world are trying to pursue a greener lifestyle with more
environmental friendly beliefs and practices. As environment has developed into
an important problem which needs to be tackled immediately, consumers are more
willing towards eco-friendly products. This in turn is making them to make
purchases of environmental friendly products even though they are costly. These
customers are not caring much about the other factors like price, availability
of parts etc…
was a negative relationship between the concepts of materialism and environmentalism.
Possessing materials is always considered as an act for self. But possessing environmental
friendly products can be projected as an act of caring for the environment in
which we live. People are becoming more aware and willing to take some radical changes
to their lifestyle if they are having good eco friendly alternatives. People
are willing to take public transport and preferring reusable and recyclable products.
present days, the business world is getting globalised. With the advent of new
technologies, the gap between the people in different countries is getting
smaller. But the markets available for business is getting larger and larger.
This also resulted in the increased competition among the brands. This
increased competition is making the brands to look for new avenues to increase
their profits. The shift of people towards environment friendly products is
making the businesses to choose the global sustainability as one of their
business goals. In previous years, having eco-friendly products under the brand
was considered as a fashion. But now it is becoming as a necessary element and
unavoidable cost. The mix of environmental, social and economic sustainability
is considered as global sustainability. The intertwining of the environmental,
social and economic factors is getting more and more complex day by day.
products are being positioning in the market with a focus on environment.
Multinational firms are focusing on branding their product as environmental
friendly. The multinationals are bringing these products not only to developed
countries where people are more materialistic but also to the developing
countries. Generally, the marketing strategies and products are different in
developed countries and developing countries. But in this case, developing
countries are not being neglected in latest trends because of the proportion of
their markets compared to the developed markets.
positioning of their products and appealing through advertisements by providing
information to consumers in developing countries, multinationals are pulling
the consumers towards green products. They are even using this green
advertising, recycling products to project themselves as an eco-friendly brand.
Green advertising is being used by the companies to change the normal consumer
behaviour to pro-environmental behaviour. The multinationals are taking several
pro-environment steps not only in their products but also their impact on the
environment. The multinationals are communicating their achievements in this
fields to increase their brand image and there by their brand equity. For
example, Coco-Cola and Pepsi claim that they give back more water to the environment
than they consume through rain harvesting techniques in their plants. This helped
the Coco-Cola and Pepsi in increasing their brand image and equity.
between Multinationals and Consumers:
of the main problem faced by the multinationals is the lack of trust in their
products because of several reasons. These reasons being less value to the consumer
than conventional products, less time span of the products, safety and lack of sufficient
users of the product. Electrical automobiles
are much costly compared to the conventional automobiles and still their range
is very less compared to the conventional ones. This is one of the example
where consumers gain less value for their money. Several products which are
being recycled directly come into the contact of human food. The consumers need
to assured of their health because they are consuming food in recycled products.
The people consider the advertisements of the multinationals regarding the environmental
friendly products as exaggerated or loop holed.
consumers consider that there is a communication gap between the multinationals
and consumers. This gaps in communication act as a disadvantage of the
consumers who have access to global markets are understanding the global trend
related to eco-friendly products. So in local markets, multinational
corporations are carefully sending the messages through advertisements.
Although multinationals benefit from this advertising and positioning with
increase in brand equity and fat margins in their products. Brand image because
of their positioning based on latest trends and fat margins because of the
consumer willingness to pay extra for the environment friendly products. At
present eco friendly products are being considered as an luxury item. But in
future when it becomes a necessity, the prices of the products will come down
because of marketing. Green materialism and environmental sustainability is
possible only when both the sides show significant commitment to the cause. So
green materialism and advertising is considered as a way of educating the
consumers to reach the economics of scale.
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