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Ethical and Socially Responsible Marketing

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    1. What is ethical and socially responsible marketing and why should marketers be concerned about CSR and sustainability? It is a marketing philosophy that states a company should take into consideration what is in the best interest of society in the present and long term. It involves the customer at all times, how the consumer will benefit and focuses on full satisfaction of the customer not selling of the product. Socially responsible companies should aspire to produce desirable products; these products should provide immediate satisfaction and long term benefits.

    These products are seen by consumers as immediate gratification products and that will also have a positive impact on society, long term wise. Marketing ethics refers to the philosophical examination, obviously from a moral standard point, of a particular marketing issue that is involved with any matter related to moral judgment. These factors mentioned evolve in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive business community. Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model.

    It is focused on promoting the public interest by basically encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that can harm the public sphere. Corporate social responsibility is the inclusion of public interest into corporate decision making, and it includes three major factors which are involved, people, planet and profit. Marketers should always take this into consideration not because of legal or ethical issues but because everyone’s actions affects the public in any given way.

    Business needs to create profit at all times but in a respectable way and this is why corporate social responsibility is essential for marketers. 2. What factors contributed to the marketing success of FIJI Water? FIJI water had to adapt to the new market trends, people’s desires and luxuries have changed over the past years. Bottled water has increased its selling largely over the past couple of years, it is also considered the new trend. Society today drinks tons of bottled water, and this rate increases around 7% each year. Fiji has managed to create a trend out of their bottles; the design to it is very appealing as well.

    At the same time society itself has become more health conscience and fitness oriented, FIJI water plays a big role into that. The younger generation has played a role in the increasing sales since they always fall for trends and tend to follow it. Those are the two mayor factors affecting its marketing and making it so successful. The successful to this was administrated to the skillful marketing group that launched the project in North America and the high quality of work; these people were able to draw a large attention towards FIJI water.

    FIJI waters were able to compete with other 400 brands with its unique packaging, premium product pricing and effective distribution of course. It is innovate which is a huge quality and has a great image-creating publicity. Apart from being a trend, it is considered the water with no after taste had a smooth taste with a low mineralization giving it a clean and pure taste. The form of the bottle played a role as well, being one of its uniqueness qualities. The colors had influence as well, having the blue cap coordinated with the color of the fresh waterfalls and the blue and green colors throughout the see-through labels.

    The bottling includes a pink flower on the front representing the Fiji Islands. The marketing of this product was were unique and has become a worldwide product; it is appealing to society all over the world since at the beginning the used to export almost 90% of production. 3. What does it mean for FIJI Water to go carbon negative? How does one measure and report carbon footprints of products? Is the carbon footprint of FIJI Water big compared to other products? FIJI Water has decided to offset more than 100% of carbon emission, is it the process of removing carbon.

    FIJI is trying to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they release into it. A carbon footprint is the total set of greenhouse gases emissions caused by the corporation FIJI, or any other. A carbon footprint can be measured by undertaking a greenhouse gas emission assessment. Fiji measures it by taking the carbon emissions throughout every stage of the product lifecycle. Meaning that it starts from the production of raw materials for packaging, continues in transporting the raw materials and equipment to the plant as well as manufacturing and filling the bottles and shipping the products from Fiji to markets all over he world. The measurement continues while distributing the product, refrigerating it in stores, restaurants and any other type of outlet where it can be found and finishes on measuring the carbon footprint of disposing or recycling the product. Fiji water also reports this information at all times on the website available for customer, because as the VP of the company suggest, it is hard for people to make a change as well as a difference on their actions is to provide them with the information and benefits of the process.

    Fiji has managed to purpose its goal with the “untouched” campaign. It had a pure and healthy approach to it, including the blue refreshing colors and the creative copy that managed to bring out the pristine nature as well as magical allure to the Fiji Islands. It gave the public the sense of it being a pure and good looking liquid, a healthy one, it gave a sense of natural beauty to it and of course the fact of it being environmentally friendly and become carbon negative. Fiji has taken several factors into consideration and implemented them throughout the company.

    These include reducing packaging by 20%, supplying at least 50% of the energy used in its bottling plant with renewable energy, which would be a great outcome for the company. Another step is using more carbon-efficient transportation and restoring degraded grasslands in the Yaqara Valley by planting native tree species and supporting recycling programs. FIJI Water’s negative carbon campaign was planning to offset its total carbon footprint by 120%, by removing from the earth’s atmosphere not only all the emissions its activities produced but also an additional 20%.

    ICF International has independently reviewed and verified the company’s carbon footprint and reported it to consumers since it has a portfolio of information able to show the results to all clients around the world. These results are visible to all at all times. 4. What is green washing and how can it be identified? Do you think FIJI Water is engaged in green washing? What could the company do to gain environmental credibility? Some issues to consider are:

    Greenwashing is a term describing the deceptive use of green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s products are environmentally friendly. By conservation groups FIJI is viewed as pure green washing at its best, by claiming that is was going carbon negative. They also describe that the new website created to sell its carbon negative message failed to provide an actual calculation of the company’s carbon footprints. They also argued that their new logo was definitely full on green washing, “every drop is green” is a full-on advertising campaign and green washing.

    I agree with Heidi Siegelbaum when she commented “Fiji is using staggering amounts of energy, water and fossil fuels to take a naturally occurring product”. Water is a natural product. Fiji is undergoing a long process which involves too many natural resources to create a trend. The enterprise made misleading environmental claims as explained above, different claims have been made by different organizations confirming that Fiji was just green washing itself and not actually causing a change in the world, being environmentally friendly and decreasing its carbon footprint.

    A corporation affirming FIJI going through mayor green washing procedure has many factors to affirm their statements. FIJI should concentrate on these negative affluences by environmental or other organizations. FIJI should explain itself with all the theories proposed, such as FIJI water not being green since it is regular water just shipped from an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which can be found in larger amount around the United States. Any bottled water does contaminate and use much more resources than any tap water, but that is what makes it an upper class product.

    FIJI Water can be misleading at times with its advertising or such is at least described throughout the case. FIJI Water should focus on these problems and back them up always with their results, make sure there is no confusion throughout the consumers. 5. Are the Fiji government’s concerns about the “negative” contribution of the FIJI Water to the local economy justified? Does the company do enough to improve its relations with the Fiji government and the local community? Propose some concrete suggestions for FIJI water to improve those relations.

    Fiji Water is a major source of income to the Fiji community. Bottled water will even become the number one exporting industry of the Fiji Island, meaning the role the company plays throughout the country is huge and definitely has a positive approach. The stand-off between Fiji’s bottled water companies and the government over the 20% per liter export duty and excise in 2008 might put a brake on this industry’s growth and can erode a substantial part of Fiji’s export earnings.

    The company was not very “happy” with this approach and even threatened the community with it. FIJI Water can come up with alternative and negotiations with the government. The government just wanted an agreement, it wanted everyone to benefit from this at all costs but obviously leaning towards the community and that implies the taxes. These could solve all issues, and FIJI Water should keep in mind always that it is a great source of income for the community and plays a big role through it.

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