Green Market Research anyone?
Abstract: The interest towards green products and services can be tracked back to the late 1980’s.Since then, being environmentally friendly became a trendy characteristic that the publicassociated with products of a certain nature, some sort of a products’ limited elite(considering also the general idea of green products being more expensive than traditionalones) that in general did not find its way into the everyday shopping habits.Today, green products are not just limited ones that consumers can find on the supermarketshelves. It is much more than organic vegetables and environmentally friendly detergents;today consumers can choose green cars, green energy bills, green clothes and greenholidays. Today, being green is much more about a life style choice.Because of this, one would expect companies to monitor and investigate regularly the greenmarket and green consumers to be constantly up to date about trends, wants, needs andrequests of the green world. One would in practice expect companies to carry out greenmarker research, especially those companies that show a strong green interest or marketgreen products. One would also expect that the current practice of green market researchhad gone through a revision process that follows the evolution of the green populace, and isthus more suitable to the current trends. The aim of this thesis was indeed to understand if:• the current green marketing wave is based on a better, more reliable and focusedgreen market research (or any at all)• market research practice generates valuable information for companies and for whatpurpose the outcomes are employedThe study conduced on a sample of eight companies belonging to different industrial sectorsshowed that the practice of green market research is after all still approximate andcompanies do not seem to have better information than in the past about consumers’ greeninterests, purchasing behaviour and marketplaces. After monitoring the practice of greenmarket research within the companies of the sample, it was possible to provide some majorconclusions.Firstly, green market research practice is still very limited in industry; it is not yet a commonpractice even in green companies. The reasons for not carrying out green market researchrange from disinterest to budget restraints, but, most interestingly, it seems that companiesdo not carry out green market research unless they can see a green interest in consumers; apreconception that should be avoided.Secondly, it seems that companies marketing green goods and using green marketing as aform of communication might be more interested than others in carrying out green marketresearch, as they are more sensitive to green information generated from the market.Thirdly, the data collected through green market research is usually used by the wholecompany for different purposes, ranging from product development to marketingcommunication strategy.Finally, the thesis concludes that in general it would be good practice for companies to investmore and consciously in green market research in order to come prepared to the short termand long term future green market developments.
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