Where’s the right balance?

How and what should we consume is very much linked with the problem of how should we market our products and services. Currently there’s a controversy between what is sold and what should be sold and how. Nevertheless, the products and services we are consuming right now might not be beneficial in ecological or social terms. Marketing has a lot of power when it comes to consumer behavior. Understanding needs, wants and trends is crucial if something is going to become successful. This is the case in marketing myopia as well as sustainability marketing myopia. In marketing myopia too much emphasis and energy is put on the product while customer need is forgotten. This has been a classical shortcoming with many companies. For instance, the fall of Nokia happened because Nokia didn’t know the needs of its customers anymore and thus lost its innovative edge. Product development went towards wrong direction and customers changed to other products. Same awareness of different aspects in marketing is crucial in sustainability marketing. Social and ecological values are important but the product should not forget the customer value. Otherwise the product can’t compete as a substitute for traditional products. With this I mean that finding the right track for marketing a product or a service means always balancing between different interests and goals.

Finding the right track to market our products and services sustainably means reinventing the concept of marketing. When we talk about decoupling our economic growth from ecological footprint, marketing needs to follow the same path and contribute to the principles of sustainability. CR and sustainability marketing can be always criticized that in the end it is always about profit but as I started to understand it, black and white doesn’t exist in our business world anymore. The chicken and the egg are that different from each other anymore. We just have to seamlessly adapt to the holistic world we are living in. Instead of thinking that economical value is most important value a product or a service delivers, we should start thinking about shared value and what is the sum of economical, social and ecological value. The obstacle of course is the question of how should we measure those other aspects of value creation. But maybe we should get used to a way of thinking that sometimes those things we can’t measure are the most important things in our lives.


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