– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

Green up your product

CarThat is an unusual headline, isn’t it? To be honest, the fundamental sentence was “pimp up my car” and all those measures that take place, when people bring their old, rusty cars to a particular TV show. However, this post has a strong link to the car industry; too…therefore I choose this headline.

Environmental issues have become very popular in the last decade; hence it might be possible that your target customer group will keep an eye what you do in terms of environment al issues. Another option is that your competitor will highlight all his measures to protect the environment or to demonstrate his social responsibility. In this case the overall objective might be to present himself as the “better company” or to “make the better product”.
Furthermore you have to consider that your organization lives in a global village. Access to information trough travel, internet and advertising messages have established common demands and expectations in all countries. Customers have other expectations compared to their expectations years ago, both in general and in terms of environmental issues…and they have chances to share their ideas and expectations on a global whiteboard.

Today I saw an interesting approach by a car maker when presenting a new model in a shopping street in Cologne (Germany). The car maker supports a specific charity event (Canadian Whale Night 2007) that has the objective to transfer all donations 1:1 to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Hence the company was colored in a Canadian Style, presenting the URL of the charity as well as additional flyers on the car.

The details turned it into a good way to present corporate responsibility. Positive aspects: Lots of information about the charity event: the charity aspect has the same significance like “regular” product information. The charity information has been placed in the driver’s window, where you would expect technical information about the car. Good location that ensured a high level of interest for both the product and the charity.Car  

Areas for improvement and some hints for your organization: A little bit more information why your company decided to support a specific charity.
All in all a good way to green up a (critical) product.



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