‘Green’ products are sold as an ethical choice and, because they have added value, often attract a price premium. Businesses create the idea that a ‘green’ product offers more than the standard version of this product. Therefore there must be a charge for this additional offering. In many cases there is no additional cost base to justify this pricing. It is based on what consumers will expect to pay.
The psychology of the consumer has been trained to expect this. Organic foods are sold on this basis. So when you are buying ethically you are often put into the predicament of having to pay more to satisfy your conscience.
In terms of print procurement this mindset is problematic. It is problematic because printing sustainably reduces your cost base and allows your products to be more price competitive. However, as most marketers will tell you, what individuals perceive to be true is the truth. When you advertise a greener printing choice you have to beware of the perception that this will create in the minds of print buyers as to what the implication is for your prices.
It is a battle to educate customers about the real commercial benefits of sustainable print procurement. Better pricing results from less waste produced, reduced waste disposal costs, reduced insurance risk (and therefore premiums), improved production efficiency, less resource usage, reduced energy costs and improved staff morale and motivation.
Sustainable print procurement can therefore be based on sound commercial decisions rather than purely ethical choices and should not be discounted when considering your options.
By Sara Brown, Senior Account Manager, Greenhouse Graphics an award winning graphics company specialising in graphic design, commercial printing, web design & development services, digital marketing and signage. www.greenhousegraphics.co.uk