Thursday, 6 March 2008

eBay: sometimes the best Green Marketing doesn't look Green

The agency I work for (Duval Guillaume) , has just won eBay as a new client.
eBay is seen as a good example of a market(ing) concept with both a commercial, environmental and cultural outcome. (triple bottom line, but consider it as 'top line' in this case)

In its book 'Green Marketing Manifesto', John Grant points out that the success factors of eBay are mainly cultural oriented (but with large environmental benefits):

(1) eBay breaks the uniformity of consumer culture back down into something folksy

(2) eBay gives a second life to products that otherwise probably would get trashed

(3) eBay encourages people to treasure consumer objects. It associates unique objects with unique descriptions of unique people

(4) eBay is one of the most successful startups in the last 20 years as It created a second-hand market place where one (especially in the US) barely existed

(5) Post-advertising brands like eBay, Amazon, Linux etc… did not craft images to build their success. They share an enthusiasm with their participants and just work great.

(6) What eBay has done is introduce advantages over buying from other sources (price, efficiency, reassurance…) but more than that, eBay is a game mechanic. Here is a key lesson for product-service systems: develop something more compelling than shopping.

(7) Beyond making second-hand markets more efficient, eBay created ‘thriving niches of collecting’. Items like ‘classic guitars’ are a booming collection market. People can now buy with confidence, knowing they can sell on

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