In my Marketing Applications class, we’re all currently starting a massive project that involves creating a marketing plan for a company in Vancouver, and my group got this awesome company called Lunapads! Being totally honest, I had no idea what Lunapads was, and had never heard of the company before… however a girl in my group, Ali, mentioned that she had heard the founders speak at a conference once and said she thought it looked like an awesome company with extremely passionate management, so here we are!
So what is Lunapads you might be asking… well, brace yourselves boys, but Lunapads is a leading supplier and manufacturer of reusable cotton menstrual pads in Vancouver. They really focus on girls and their bodies and making a period something for women to be proud of, and not to be embarrassed to talk about like many of us kind of are today. So the product is bright and colourful, and turns feminine hygiene product shopping into a more enjoyable experience! In addition, it also has many health benefits associated with it, and most importantly… IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY! YAY!
Each Lunapad replaces approximately 140 disposable pads… which if you think about it is really pretty impressive. I think a lot of people don’t even realise the degree of waste that comes from feminine hygiene products, but Lunapads is an excellent product that enables women to drastically decrease their ecological footprint, while saving money.
I think this product is really interesting, because it really makes sense as the logical innovation to be made in the feminine hygiene industry. Disposable pads should be a thing of the past in our consumer market that is so heavily focused now-a-days on sustainable and eco-friendly practices, but for some reason they aren’t. Lunapads is trying to change the way people talk about periods, and to embrace them, and not be grossed out and uncomfortable at the slightest mention of them, while making a positive impact on the environment.
Soo… would you ever use a Lunapad?!
After learning about a few marketing techniques to be green, but not really sustainable in class last week, it really got me thinking about those re-usable grocery bags that what seems like EVERY GROCERY STORE ON THE PLANET is using now a days. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re a great idea, and its obvious that plastic bags are definitely harmful to the environment, but does every single consumer need 10 of these bags? Really?
I really liked the idea when it first started, but now it seems to me that a lot of grocery stores and liquor stores are just adopting this practice to promote their company, and as a method of green selling. Companies are constantly gifting these bags to customers, which results in people having way more bags than they could possibly have a use for. What’s worse is that a lot of stores throw these bags together so quickly and haphazardly that the bags break after a couple uses anyway, so they don’t even serve the intended purpose! I think a lot of people look at the canvas material, and beige-green-earthy tone of the bag and think that they must be 100% sustainable to make… but manufacturing anything requires energy, and I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve seen some pretty nice reusable bags that I’m sure aren’t the most eco-friendly in terms of their materials.
So why grocery and liquor stores? Why doesn’t every store give away and promote the use of these bags? I think it’s a perfect example of Green Selling.
Safeway, Save-on, Superstore, wherever…. they all sell tons and tons of food and other products that they have shipped in from who knows where all over the world so that they can save on costs of product. The effect that all of this transportation no doubt has a terrible effect on the environment, and is most definitely not sustainable. Essentially, the marketing company at all of these grocery stores are hoping to focus on the bag aspect of their business, pushing the fact that it’s environmentally friendly (although debate-ably so in my eyes…) and are hoping that customers don’t realise the actual impact that the store is having on the environment as a big picture! I personally think that companies should slow down on the production and distribution of these reusable bags, I’m pretty sure everyone has more than enough by now, and if someone doesn’t have one, it’s probably not a result of not being offered one. If companies could stop focusing on the bags, and maybe place a bit more emphasis on maybe running commercials reminding you to bring your bag, because I don’t know about you, but I have about 10 of these and I forget them every time I go shopping.
Anyways, just my little rant, let me know what you guys think! Are reusable bags all good? All bad… a mix?
First and foremost welcome to my blog for the semester, hope it’s at least somewhat entertaining and hopefully I’ll talk about some things you find fun and interesting!
So having started Sustainable Marketing just last week on January 2nd, which seemed like an unnecessarily early day to start the term in my opinion… there has kind of been something on my mind regarding the motives behind sustainable marketing. Up until this point I almost had an idea that companies were turning to sustainable marketing because they realize the impact their company is having on the environment, and they would like to reverse this impact, and make a positive impact instead. So naturally, I was pretty excited that finally some large players in the industry such as Coca Cola, Starbucks and Staples are finally taking steps towards paving the way towards a more sustainable Earth out of the goodness of their hearts.
But now after being in the class for only a few lectures, I’m starting to realize the real motives behind these large companies going green, and it has nothing to do with the goodness of their hearts…let me tell you. The primary reason that any company is going to look to be sustainable in their production or operation of a company is solely for the sake of the company in my opinion. I think that the marketing teams at all these firms are simply doing their jobs well, and noticing the trends in society, and going with them. People want sustainability? They’ll go sustainable. For example, Staples recently switched from 3-amp to 2-amp light bulbs in all their stores, saving them $4.2 million dollars after expenses (thedailygreen.com). Now while previously I would have thought, wow, good for Staples, helping out even if it means they have to undergo changing all of their light bulbs around the world! Now it is evident that their primary motivation for this change was likely a) the tremendous cost savings and b) the promotional effect that creating a positive externality would have on society.
So with all of this in mind, I’m kind of on the fence now on how I feel about this lane of sustainable marketing. Is it wrong for a company to exploit some people’s way of life to make a profit? Or should I be looking at it as though yes, they’re profiting from it, but hey, they are helping the environment so whatever works, works! I think I’m likely leading towards the latter, seeing as our planet is in a downward spiral environmentally-wise, and if companies didn’t start doing something soon, we were going to be in major trouble!
Anyway, just my thoughts as I started this course, let me know what you guys think: Is Sustainable Marketing good regardless of the motives of large companies?
Until next week, SEE YA.