Marketing a new product is often associated with significant risks as the product can be unpopular or even go unnoticed, the target audience can remain indifferent to it, and so on. However, the benefits of developing and marketing new products are also unquestionable as the ability to market them has become a competitive advantage for successful businesses (Smith & Stewart, 2014). This organization has invested in various projects that have become real hits, and new eco-friendly sports bottles can also become one of these success stories.
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The production of this kind of bottle is quite a new direction the company can choose to win new markets. Goyal and Bansal (2017) argue that multinationals are becoming digital eco companies that pay attention (or even focus) on sustainable practices, which helps them develop a favorable image, increase sales, and even reduce costs.
Becoming a Digital Eco Company and Its Benefits
The investment in the development of the new product will make this organization a digital eco company. Goyal and Bansal (2017) note that these businesses are characterized by the use of various sustainable practices, including (but not confined to) using fewer resources, utilizing organic products, recycling, improving supply chain and waste management, and so on. Importantly, these organizations pay much attention to communicating their achievements to the public to develop a favorable image. For instance, such companies as Nike and British petroleum invest substantial funds in becoming digital eco companies, and they manage to attract more customers worldwide.
This organization can benefit from becoming a digital eco company. The production of eco-friendly sports bottles will become a manifestation of the company’s intention to make a difference and be a responsible corporate citizen. Western customers are becoming quite sensitive when it comes to environmental issues, which makes eco-friendly products very popular (Li, 2016). Smith and Stewart (2014) also note that the number of sport consumers is also on the rise, which contributes to the development of the market.
The product in question will not be confined to this group as many people will be eager to pertain to the world of sports and healthy lifestyles, at least, at some periods of their time. Since western culture has a considerable influence on various countries, these trends are becoming global. The modern mass media (especially social media) have become a potent tool in popularizing being sporty and eco-friendly. The mix of these two major global trends makes eco-friendly sports bottles a hit and even the first one of its kind.
Areas of Concern
It is noteworthy that the attitude towards environmental challenges varies in different parts of the world. For instance, Li (2016) explores the differences and similarities between the two major markets in the world. The Chinese and American consumer markets are leading and are estimated to remain top markets in the near future. Many companies, including this organization, try to operate successfully in these two markets as the Chinese market is also regarded as a gateway to a larger Asian market.
As far as the focus on sports and healthy lifestyles, Chinese customers are becoming similar to Americans who try to be healthy and sporty. Importantly, Chinese people are willing to accept western leagues and associations, as well as games and practices (Smith & Stewart, 2014). Chinese customers (especially high and middle classes) also tend to develop a significant degree of loyalty to various western sports brands.
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However, when it comes to environmental responsibility, the consumer attitude differs in the two regions. Notably, even Americans (and the rest of the western consumer market) are not completely environmentally responsible. For instance, Atkinson and Kim (2015) examine American females’ attitudes towards eco-friendly products with the focus on the plastic bottle used for Ozarka Natural Spring Water.
The authors stress that the associated product (bottled water) is mainly viewed as very environmentally unfriendly. Women note that they find environmental issues important and are willing to consume eco-friendly products, however, they display quite a different consumer behavior. For instance, they buy bottled water but view the company’s message concerning its environmentally sustainable practices rather misleading and vague.
As far as the Chinese market is concerned, the challenges are even more apparent. Li (2016) stresses that although Chinese people are aware of environmental issues, they do not see themselves as responsible for these problems. Chinese consumers are willing to buy high-quality and (in many cases) popular and prestigious products, but they are not willing to buy eco-friendly products, especially if there are cheaper items.
This attitude is a result of culture, economic situation, political agenda, etc. Nevertheless, the Chinese government is trying to address this issue and change people’s perspectives. The major message is concerned with making Chinese society truly harmonious. Furthermore, it is important to invest in making these customers aware of the existing environmental hazards and possible ways to address them (including eco-friendly sports bottles).
Actions to Undertake
The challenges mentioned above bring to the fore the need to use effective marketing strategies to introduce the new product. First, it is essential to use the most efficient communication channels. Social media have become a platform for global information sharing. It is unnecessary to use such mass media as television as it is quite expensive, and the number of social media users among the target audience (youth, adults, and younger adults) is increasing exponentially (Smith & Stewart, 2014).
Facebook will be the primary social network used to promote the product. The official website of the company (as well as its Facebook account) will also include links to blogs devoted to environmental sustainability, bottled water, and, of course, the new eco-friendly bottle. The company will be able to obtain feedback immediately and respond to its customers’ needs, concerns, complaints, and so on.
Messages to Communicate
Apart from the effective communication channel, it is vital to choose the most appealing messages. These messages will differ depending on the region where the bottles will be sold. For instance, western customers may be more willing to buy eco-friendly bottles if they believe in the environmental benefit for the planet (Li, 2016). Therefore, it can be effective to concentrate on specific features that reduce the product’s environmental footprint.
It can be necessary to admit that bottled water is not a very eco-friendly product, but it has already become a necessity due to various reasons (scarcity of safe drinking water in many regions, the product’s convenience, and affordability). When it comes to the Asian market, the company should persuade consumers that the new product will make their society truly harmonious (Li, 2016). Such benefits of the product as its price, prestige, and relevance for healthy lifestyles should also be highlighted.
It is also important to make sure that a corresponding customer support service should be in place. The service will be in the closest contact with customers responding to their questions concerning the eco-friendliness of the product, possible refunds, and the like (Smith & Stewart, 2014). Customers should always be able to talk to a representative of the company as it will create the necessary rapport.
It is crucial to make sure that the product is of high-quality and can be delivered to customers in a timely manner. However, it is equally important to make sure that the research related to sustainable practices is continuous. The product should constantly evolve, becoming more sustainable and attractive to potential customers. The investment may increase in the course of the product’s maturation.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the company can benefit from the development of eco-friendly sports bottles as they resonate with the existing trends in society. Modern consumers are becoming more concerned about environmental issues, and they also try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Of course, markets in different parts of the world can have their peculiarities, which requires specific attention to cultural aspects.
The steps to undertake include using Facebook as the major communication channel and blogging, as well as investing in further research aimed at making the product even more sustainable. The new product will not only lead to larger profits for the company, but it will also contribute to the development of this organization’s favorable image across the globe. People will want to learn more about eco-friendliness and ways to become more responsible environmentally. The company can become a reputable source of knowledge and products enabling people to maintain certain lifestyles.
Atkinson, L., & Kim, Y. (2015). “I drink it anyway and I know I shouldn’t”: Understanding green consumers’ positive evaluations of norm-violating non-green products and misleading green advertising. Environmental Communication, 9(1), 37-57.
Goyal, A., & Bansal, S. (2017). Digital platforms & natural eco-digital eco strategy – top brands igniting it through environment sustainable revolution. International Education and Research Journal, 3(5), 497-504.
Li, X. (2016). Environmental advertising in China and the USA: The desire to go green. New York, NY: Routledge.
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Smith, A. C. T., & Stewart, B. (2014). Introduction to sport marketing (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.