Green Market Research anyone?

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Nervi, Giorgia
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 public associated 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 traditional ones) 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 supermarket shelves. It is much more than organic vegetables and environmentally friendly detergents; today consumers can choose green cars, green energy bills, green clothes and green holidays. Today, being green is much more about a life style choice. Because of this, one would expect companies to monitor and investigate regularly the green market and green consumers to be constantly up to date about trends, wants, needs and requests of the green world. One would in practice expect companies to carry out green marker research, especially those companies that show a strong green interest or market green products. One would also expect that the current practice of green market research had gone through a revision process that follows the evolution of the green populace, and is thus 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 focused green market research (or any at all) • market research practice generates valuable information for companies and for what purpose the outcomes are employed The study conduced on a sample of eight companies belonging to different industrial sectors showed that the practice of green market research is after all still approximate and companies do not seem to have better information than in the past about consumers’ green interests, purchasing behaviour and marketplaces. After monitoring the practice of green market research within the companies of the sample, it was possible to provide some major conclusions. Firstly, green market research practice is still very limited in industry; it is not yet a common practice even in green companies. The reasons for not carrying out green market research range from disinterest to budget restraints, but, most interestingly, it seems that companies do not carry out green market research unless they can see a green interest in consumers; a preconception that should be avoided. Secondly, it seems that companies marketing green goods and using green marketing as a form of communication might be more interested than others in carrying out green market research, 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 whole company for different purposes, ranging from product development to marketing communication strategy. Finally, the thesis concludes that in general it would be good practice for companies to invest more and consciously in green market research in order to come prepared to the short term and long term future green market developments.
Miljöteknik , Environmental engineering
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