“The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife!”

14 Jun

Recycling-one of the may simplest ways to contribute to a better environment. For some it’s cumbersome, for some it’s natural and for some it’s business.

Sustainability within firms has gained more and more interest within the last years. If firms want to differentiate their products from similar brands, they try to do something special, something good, something in the actual customer’s interest.

Sustainability on a firm’s level: cumbersome or marketing tool?

Michelle Lowery, Operations Manager of Outspoken Media, claims in her blog post the importance for managers and firms to not only take into account financial data, licenses, employee salaries and insurance. Next to the recent sophisticated aspect of a social media policy there is another marketing strategy shifted into the spotlight:
Corporate Social Responsibility.

Her advice for managers is to focus their priorities on sustainability as it can help to “attract and retain valuable employees” and is meaningful to customers.

Traditional management opinions confirm growth to be the main contributor to profitability. Michelle Lowery confirms the necessity for management to be persistent, disciplined and willing to work hard. However, she objects that staying profitable means attracting your customers and according to her, the latest trend goes towards brands that are not grasping and self-interested.

Yet, it is not all about satisfying your customers but also ensuring good teamwork. My fellow student Julia argues in her blog post:

“The most important for a team is a common commitment and a meaningful purpose for all team members to reach specific performance goals.”

Additionally, Lowery refers to the fact that volunteerism can contribute to a greater sense of belonging within a team. According to her experiences, defining individual interests and then making each team member responsible for his or her specific field can yield to a better sense of commitment as well as the consolidation of a close-knit team. Lowery’s motive is that issues close to our heart will naturally bring us to work more consistently and accurately.

 Recycling as a business idea

As I mentioned in the beginning, recycling is not only an issue of government and individuals: It can be a real business idea.

After spending one year in the developing country,Nicaragua, where I worked on recycling projects myself, I became sensitive to that issue. With my students we mainly worked on recycled jewelry, paper and bags that looked like that:

However this was more on a micro level. I taught children how to manufacture these little bags out of old chips packages, but we never got to actually sell them to a wholesaler.

Recycling Deluxe 

Recycling Deluxe is a business committed to both profit and sustainability. Their marketing idea is to sell accessories that are made out of recycled materials, such as:

  • cement, rice or coffee sacks
  • truck inner tubes
  • cans
  • bottle caps
  • wast paper
  • motor bike inner tubes
  • etc

So what I attempted on a very small and basic level, is what they do on large-scale. They do not only pay fair wages, recycle and contribute to a better environment but also they offer attractive and most importantly unique products that every fashion-conscious appreciates.

The idea of offering an extraordinary product by reusing old material is also highly appreciated by the blog post: “The profitability of the recycling business”.

The post confirms that raw materials that are reused has positive effects on the environment as well as on a firm’s cost structure. It seems natural that ‘free material’ can lower costs of a firm. Though, the business of recycling is about much more than saving costs. Just like Recycling Deluxe proved, it is a new way of living out creativity and merchandise a niche-product with value not only for the customer but also for the producer.

Now, understand the value-added effects of recycling and sustainable actions to your company and sing along:


2 Responses to ““The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife!””

  1. melissano18 June 26, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Hey Rose!

    As always, this is a very great and appealing piece of work! I just enjoyed reading this post! This topic is very crucial and already your heading caught my attention.
    I loved how you structured your post. First you start with a little introduction, then you report on two blog posts and at the end you show your personal opinion and referred to a business idea. The reader really gets a whole view of this topic, because you show him and her all these different views.
    Your pictures and quotes are very supportive and underline your argumentation.
    The video at the end was a very good choice to complete your post!
    At this point I really cannot say anything that is missing or which could have been better!
    Keep up this great work, Rose!


  1. Green Industry from many points of view « hit the nail on the top - June 15, 2012

    […] toward environmental concerns. If you are interested in more posts about that issue, check out this post about recycling and sustainability or that post concerned with CSR and […]

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