Discuss about the Ensuring Sustainability in Consumption.
Not all the products available in the market are entirely safe. As such, the consumption of some products may cause adverse effects on the environment and even the health or welfare of those who use these commodities. The task of ensuring sustainability in consumption does not just belong to the government and other environmental bodies that want to promote safe consumption and production. Marketers, in their quest, to make sales and promote particular products to their targets also have a part to play in making sure there is sustainability in consumption. A look at how marketing is generally done reveals that marketers are not doing enough in ensuring that there is sustainable consumption.
Sustainable consumption is basically the use of products and services in such a manner that there is minimal damage to the environment or negative social impacts such as gradual health damage. This is done with the aim of making sure that the future remains bright for generations to come. Marketers influence how decision making happens on the part of the consumers. They may encourage or discourage certain consumption habits that are in line with sustainable development (Prothero et.al, 2011). Hence, they are an important element in promoting sustainable consumption. Most marketers today, however, do not care much about consumers, a fact that is worrying.
Most of the marketers today do not care about the type of products that they promote. Notably, a good number do not even use the products they consume. They are more concerned with meeting their company’s sales goals even without having critically examined what they are promoting(Holt,2012). One sector that is riddled with unscrupulous marketers and salesmen is the beauty industry. There are quite a number of beauty products that have flooded markets throughout the world which contain harmful chemicals such as mercury. These pollute the environment upon their disposal and over time may cause injury to plants animals and the general population (Segal and Podoshen, 2013). Sadly, it is not uncommon to find marketers still advocating for the use of these products despite their known effects. This means that a good number do not make efforts towards sustainable consumption.a
Very few marketers address overconsumption. This means that some consumers tend to buy a good number of products that they may not be in need of, especially if the marketer is gifted in product promotion. When this is the case, some of these products end up at the dump site or may be improperly discarded thereby damaging the environment or causing injury. The hand drill, for example, is one product that most people buy only to use for just a few minutes of its lifespan This is especially the case in countries where there are qualified craftsmen who charge less for their services (Anon, 2017). Marketers sometimes even go to the extent of encouraging bulk buying of particular products, advising that they may soon run out of stock. This results in the purchase of unnecessary products, something that is contrary to sustainable consumption.
It is common to find marketers promoting or selling products that have been out phased. This is especially the case in electronics (Lorek and Spangenberg, 2014). The fact that it is not common to find marketers who immediately change to the sale of new products reinforces the fact that most marketers are not doing enough to direct their targets towards sustainable consumption. Sometimes these products that they do not stop promoting are usually left for reasons such as being inefficient or being detrimental to consumer health. This means that the goal of sustainable consumption and production is not treated with the seriousness that it deserves. Sometimes, some marketers even intentionally conceal information such as the serviceability of products as they try to make enough sales. This should not the case.
A good number of marketers also fail to effectively promote sustainable production due to the fact that they do not make information useful for their consumers. Some consumers need only seconds to make up their mind about a product. These types of people may sometimes be impressed by products such as those that use renewable energy for example solar powered machine (Cherian and Jacob 2012). When a marketer concentrates on advertising how such products work instead of information like this, it becomes hard to promote the sale of products that promote sustainable consumption. In addition, marketers sometimes fail to encourage behavioral change among consumers with the result being that they do find good reasons for prudent consumption. It is therefore important for marketers to factor in very useful information, especially when dealing with clients that are interested in green products.
To sum up, marketers still have a huge gap to fill when it comes to promoting sustainable consumption. Most of them care more about making the targeted amount of sales as opposed to promoting the right behavioral consumer traits. A good number do not provide the right information to the consumers and some even encourage overconsumption. This should change since improper or unsustainable consumption may endanger the environment and the future generations.
Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: https://www.credport.org/blog/12-Why-a-Drill-is-a-Bad-Example-for-the-Sharing-Economy [Accessed 5 Aug. 2017].
Cherian, J. and Jacob, J., 2012. Green marketing: A study of consumers’ attitude towards environment friendly products. Asían social science, 8(12), p.117.
Holt, D.B., 2012. Constructing sustainable consumption: From ethical values to the cultural transformation of unsustainable markets. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 644(1), pp.236-255.
Lorek, S. and Spangenberg, J.H., 2014. Sustainable consumption within a sustainable economy–beyond green growth and green economies. Journal of cleaner production, 63, pp.33-44.
Prothero, A., Dobscha, S., Freund, J., Kilbourne, W.E., Luchs, M.G., Ozanne, L.K. and Thøgersen, J., 2011. Sustainable consumption: Opportunities for consumer research and public policy. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 30(1), pp.31-38.
Segal, B. and Podoshen, J.S., 2013. An examination of materialism, conspicuous consumption and gender differences. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 37(2), pp.189-198.