Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Towards a more 'Green-centric' business model

My last post, I ended it with a claim that I have come out with a more sustainable, yet still profitable, 'green-centric' business model, that perhaps is still a win-win outcome for both the consumers and producers of electrical products.

In Singapore where I am staying, the major electrical appliance stores are Courts and Harvey Norman. The typical product cycle, or 'usage-cycle' of this product goes on like this:
1) Product get purchased by consumer from the relevant household appliance shop
2) Product get used by the consumer until it gets spoiled, or until a newer better, and more cost-effective model comes out
3) And then the consumer will once again, buy another household appliance, of a better, newer model perhaps!

From the standpoint of the sellers, the scene goes like this:
1) Buyer comes to the shop to browse and buy the appliance
2) Buyer buys the product, and the seller is only accountable during the warranty period of the life-span, or the usage-span of the product
3) After a few years later, the consumer, needing to get a newer model, will once again browse and be looking again at the same or similar household appliance.

Now this is where an opportunity presents itself. If there can be a link to the consumers' decision to buy a new model, to the sellers' desire to wanting to capture and be the definite outcome of this latter's decision, would that be a good business model or what! But how can we do that? One way that I think might just work is for these sellers to work towards a more life-long approach towards equipping families or their customers, whether potential or current, with the products or appliances that they are selling. What these means is that the sellers can be providing some sort of a discounted price on the prices of the newer models, in exchange for the older models, if these 'old' customers were to come back to them again for their more current models. In terms of customer-centric approaches, this would definitely work out more positively for the consumers, benefiting from having some discounts off their more current purchases (who doesn't love a discount right?), and getting a newer model in return for a smaller sum of money. For the sellers, it is definitely one way of prolonging their customers' loyalty to their shop or branding, which of course would translate into higher profit margins.

But where does the green-centric approach fall into place? Well, think about it, back in my previous post, if producers are able to use the products that they 'got' back from these consumers and perhaps, recycle or cannibalise them for their newer models, wouldn't it make more economic sense too? Cost savings...check, recycling...check, green-centric...check, a more stable and prolong customer loyalty to their brand of products...check!

Hmmm, i just think that this might just work!

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