I was not able to attend the last class on convenience, so I read carefully the slides from the class and all the posts done about is so far. I liked the thought of experience being one reason why one would go beyond their convenience to buy a certain (sustainable) product. But I would also claim that an experience is the reason why we western people buy things in many cases at all, as also well already pointed out. We want to compete with the lifestyle of the higher class, and think that a higher living standard and buying “nicer” things has possibly made them happier. So we want to have it too.
So since many things we buy are not necessities, we easily buy too many things. So what do we buy then? The attractive and nice looking, rightly priced products that pump on our way in the stores, conveniently as we are in some store. That is called in-store marketing and well done packaging and design.
Last week I saw an add by S-market (a finnish food-store) that they have I think it was already 2.000 sustainable products in their selection. That definitely is convenient. I don’t need to drive around the get meat here and bread from somewhere else. With one drive I can buy all my food shopping and even make sustainable choices (if I can afford it).
Sustainable product marketing faces many challenges, that are still not very different from any other companies products. The business has profit in order for the company to continue doing business. What I thought was alarming was to see that Globe Hope was increasing sales, but profitability was very low. In the long run that means shut down business, no matter how good the business idea is. Even though the clothes are liked by many, they are still not available in a vast amount of places, and the product still remains as a niche product. Many don’t like the “used” or “army” look on them. I totally agree with former bloggers that they really need to do some marketing. They need to tell why the price is high, for example by telling how they are able to have them produced here in Finland or nearby and so on. People need to also just know that the products exists and where they can be found. Marketing is not unsustainable in it self. It can be done in social media or by in-store marketing or even on radio. What ever is better than nothing at all :-).
Lastly a comment about what product is sustainable enough or what is green washing (Peattie, Crane 2005). In the fear of being criticized many companies don’t want to bring up their products sustainable aspects at all. They suggest that a greater focus on how the product is made will be required to promote more sustainable production and consumption. Also like I just mentioned about Globe Hope marketing that aims to inform rather that impress is needed.
Finally their point that the marketers need to have a willingness to manage demand and expectation – downwards! Cost, availability, and convenience are the key but there needs to be a realistic expectation about the nature, total costs, and consequences of consumption. This is knowledge will benefit sustainable marketers in the long run.