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Friday, May 27, 2011

Another measure by which to judge (vehicles, and more)

We’ve long been able to compare prices and gas mileage.  But now, consumers can look at the emissions a car puts out, as well as the gas they’ll put in.  Here’s a story from the New York Times that explains (click to link).

Implications:  Watch for many industries and categories to be judged in ever more sophisticated ways by the consumer and your critics.  Paper or plastic?  Lots of people used to favor paper because it was thought to be more bio-degradable.  But depending on manufacturing techniques, paper bags can be just as—or more—harmful than plastic.*

When consumers think “environmentally friendly” or “sustainable,” chances are they won’t be thinking of a single issue (like consumption of fossil fuels).  As people become more educated about the many moving parts involved with manufacturing, consumption and disposal, they are likely to scrutinize a purchase in a variety of ways.

When you consider the life cycle of the product or service you sell… does it compare well to competitive alternatives?  What can you do to improve that product or service, and thus make it more appealing to the consumer’s growing sense (and sophistication) of social responsibility?

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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