Reflection on first day

Somehow the word “marketing” has negative association in my psyche. Without any logical contemplation my brain has concluded it to be a bad thing. My brain projects pictures of obese American citizens with Big Mac and huge Coke cup in their hands when I hear marketing.  This word has too much connotation with very mundane things for me. It reminds me of competition and animal spirit, qualities which I think we should transcend as a human being. Consumerism is the other negative image that marketing projects on me. This mindset of mine has also gotten more strength from all the sustainability courses in which we tend to blame most of the wrong doings to the big corporations and businesses that thrive on marketing. Another perspective that has marred the image of marketing in my psyche is the growing trend of westernization in the developing countries. Due to the vices of marketing the idea that consumerism that is rampant in the West rather than general wellbeing is the sign of development has been popularized in the developing countries. Pursuing the European or the American dream is what the educated youth of the South is doing now. Unfortunately I have happened to be one of such citizens of the South. With logical contemplation as well, perhaps, most of my negative mindset towards marketing can be verified. But, as a student with background in economics and business it is also a nuisance to have this kind of attitude about marketing. To clear my mindset about marketing and know how it has been used and can be used to promote sustainable consumption I have participated in this course.

In one of the compulsory courses in Creative Sustainability called Continuous Transformation we were introduced to the idea of nudging.  “Nudging refers to the idea that citizens are not being told what to do, but rather they are being asked to make choices in different ways leading to outcomes that are beneficial to them and to their fellow citizens. The goal is to preserve citizen choice, but also to steer it towards more positive outcomes for individual and society as a whole” (John et al. 2009). The idea of nudging is more of a macro and policy level discussion. We discussed in the first day that marketing is evolving in its focus and scope towards being a broad sustainable process by incorporating market, society, and planet all together. I think that for achieving the goal of optimum and sustainable consumption macro level nudging should go hand in hand with micro level sustainable marketing.



Here is a good reading on Nudge:

Another example of Nudge: Good Bye, Big Soda

And finally, Honest Coca Cola  

Reference: John P., Smith G. and Stoker G. “Nudge Nudge, Think Think: Two Strategies for Changing Civic Behavior”. The Political Quaterly, Vol. 80, No. 3, 2009  

1 comment
  1. Good idea to mention nudging. Here’s a month-old book review by Cass Sunstein, which in a way pits nudging against coercive paternalism (disclaimer: it’s not an entirely fair review as Sunstein represents an opposing point of view than the author – still, I think it’s a relatively good read):

    Mentioning Coca-Cola also brings to mind a recent advertising controversy in the UK concerning SodaStream, the maker of home carbonation products (there was some controversy in the US too with the Superbowl commercials, you can google it). SodaStream’s commercial was banned in the UK for ‘denigration of the bottled drinks market’ as it showed how many bottles could theoretically be saved if people made their own soda (though having a carbonation machine in every household would have impacts of its own too). Anyway, here’s the story:

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