By Charlie Hall
Green industry firms who are performing well in today’s economic climate have been proactive in shaving costs out of their value chain (by adopting lean flow processes and/or adopting technology/mechanization) and they have been successful in differentiating themselves in the marketplace by effectively articulating their value proposition.
Customers generally use five major attributes in making a decision about what products or services to buy and from whom to buy them, including quality, price, service, convenience and selection. Value represents the tradeoff between the benefits derived from this mix of attributes relative to the sacrifices (dollars) made in getting them.
Of course, this requires a firm to stay the course in terms of marketing efforts. As others make cutbacks during economically stressful conditions, an increase in marketing efforts can lead to increased customer “mindshare.” While it may seem counter-intuitive, firms normally spending 3 percent to 5 percent of gross sales on marketing in prosperous market conditions should consider increasing this to 5 percent to 8 percent during times like the industry is currently experiencing. As the saying goes, speak when others are quiet and even a whisper can be heard.
What matters most is the message that is being communicated through a firm’s marketing tools. If, through unified messaging, the industry can position itself in such a way that its products/services are considered to be necessities in people’s lives and not mere luxuries, it will be the best mitigation strategy it can employ. Post-recession consumers are willing to undergo greater search, acquisition and learning costs in making decisions regarding their purchases. In some cases, they will pay a premium for products and services that enhance their quality of life.
Read the rest of Dr. Hall's story here.
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