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It is hereby declare that this honours thesis written by

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I hereby declare that this thesis is my own work and effort and that it has not been submitted anywhere for any award. Where other sources of information have been used, they have been acknowledged.

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The local academic scene is still lagging behind in term of size of the corpus of works on green marketing especially those that dealt with conceptualization of green marketing. Generalization is not practical in this regards as academic literature on the issue tend to agree that a one-size-fits-all strategy that can be transplanted from one firm to another does not exist. As such in an attempt to find out how green marketing being carried out in a Malaysian manufacturing firm, this exploratory research was done by the researchers and it is hoped that the hypotheses formulated in this study can be tested by further research.

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Research Questions 1.3 Objectives of the Research 1.4 Study Purpose 1.5 Hypotheses 1.6 Study Limitation 1.6 Study Importance 2 3 4 5 5 5 6

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Theoretical Framework 2.3 Empirical Framework 2.4 Local Academic Literature on Green Marketing 8 8 11 12

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2.5 Shifting Perspective and Emerging Trend 2.6 Conceptual Framework (Operationalization of Theory) 2.7 Synthesis and Conclusion 13 14 18

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Research Design 3.3 Methodology 3.4 Data Collection Method 20 20 21 21

CHAPTER 4 : STUDY FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 4.1 Introduction 3.2 Findings and Discussion 25 25

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 5.1 Conclusion 31



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Figure 1 : Theoretical Framework of Green Marketing Intervention Strategy 9Adapted from Kinoti, 2011) Figure 2 : Conceptual Framework of Panasonic Green Marketing



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In response to consumers growing concern about environmental issues, many businesses embark on green marketing initiatives. The term Green Marketing however has no universally accepted definition (Polonsky,2001,p.282) but despite the absence of uniform definition, green marketing is not to be regarded as nothing more than simple marketing hype (Menon and Menon, 1997 cited in Polonsky,2001,p. 282). Polonsky (2001,p.282) maintains that any attempt at defining green marketing must include the fact that there is voluntary exchange between business firms and consumers that achieves both parties objectives, while attempting to minimise the negative environmental impacts of these exchanges, and ensures that activities related to these exchanges are sustainable. Implicit in Polonskys explanation above is that green marketing is different from conventional marketing. If Polonskys explanation above approaches the issue objectively, attempt to define green marketing subjectively (i.e. from firms perspective) is done by Phyper and MacLean (2009,p.168) who states that the notion of green marketing, from firms viewpoint, refers to how they tackle the complexities of selling a products benefits (price,quality and environmental compatibility), while addressing consumers expectations about the environmental record of the company behind the product. As to what constitute the right

3 green marketing strategy, firms must realize that a one-size-fits-all strategy does not exist (Ginsberg and Bloom, 2004).

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With the growing importance of green marketing, one would expect that a considerable corpus of conceptual and empirical literature will be available to the public in Malaysia. Sadly however, this is not the case as revealed by the literature survey conducted in this research. Very little body of research, either conceptual or empirical, has been done in Malaysia to examine the effect of green marketing on firms business performance of small firms. This research was therefore designed to explore the Malaysian context of how green marketing is integrated into the firm overall business strategy.



Can green marketing strategies, as available in various literatures on the subject, be standardized so as to qualify it for general application? From the available literatures, this is a practical impossibility. As pointed out by Ginsberg and Bloom (2004) in the introductory part of this thesis above, a green marketing archetype strategy does not exist. Rahbah and Abdul Wahid (2011,p.73) commenting on existing researches on influence of green marketing tools on consumers purchase behaviour stated that majority of them have been conducted in industrialized countries and with contradictory results. Rahbah and Abdul Wahid (2011,p.73) concluded that such divergence in results may point to the fact that the individual findings of any of those studies may only be relevant to certain cultural, time and geographical context in

4 which any of those studies were carried out. Rahbah and Abdul Wahid (2011,p.73) added that due to the complexity in consumers green purchasing behaviour, generalization is often not meaningful under different cultural and demographical context. Gottschalk (2006,p.67) writing on the subject of business firms strategy formulation stated that the system through which strategy is formulated varies considerably from company to company. As such it is impossible for use to develop our knowledge on green marketing strategy of a specific firm in the Malaysian context just by reviewing studies on the subject carried out elsewhere. It has to be inquired on a case-by-case basis. Based on this premise, the researchers believe that research on the green marketing strategy of individual firm in Malaysia (such as this one) is a well-timed one to contribute towards the enlargement of the corpus of literature on green marketing strategies employed by business firms in the Malaysian context. Based on the summary discussion presented above and the literature review, the

following research questions have been formulated which this exploratory case study will attempt to answer :


Why does Panasonic Malaysia embark on their green marketing strategy initiatives (i.e.

Why does it go green?)


What is the level of environmentalism in Panasonic Malaysia Marketing Strategy i.e.

does Panasonic Malaysia incorporate environmentalism in all its marketing mix (discussion will only be limited to the traditional 4 Ps of the marketing mix) or only to few selected elements (one or two Ps) of the marketing mix?

5 3. policy? Does the green marketing strategy of Panasonic Malaysia a fad or a long-term orientated

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Exploratory research design has many utilities as evidenced from research that has been carried out employing the exploratory approach, among them, to identify innovative production and management practices, auditing approaches, strategies for diagnosing medical problems, developing messages for political candidates and incentive compensation system for managers to increase unit innovativeness(Hair et. al.,2011,p.148).There is also another utility of exploratory research design namely to generate hypotheses for further study but would not test one (Zikmund and Babin 2007,p.133). Based on the above discussion, in the current research, the researchers objectives are two-pronged namely 1) to explore the what, how , why, where and when of green marketing in the context of a Malaysian based electronic manufacturing firm and 2) to come up with hypotheses at the end of the research which can be used as springboard for further (descriptive or causal) researches on this subject. It is hoped therefore that other researches will take off from where this research leaves off.



The purpose of this study is to report and explore how Panasonic Malaysia carries out their green marketing initiative.



As has been pointed out by Zikmund and Babin (2007,p.133), exploratory research design is utilized to generate hypotheses for further study but would not test one. According to Sandhusen (2008,p.206), exploratory research is also known as qualitative research stage and its aim is to get as much information as possible about issue at hand, the idea being to select the minimum required information to generate insights and hypotheses to be tested during later conclusive (i.e. quantitative research) stage. As such hypotheses in this research will be presented at the end of the research and not at the outset.



No generalization can be derived from the result of this study since this exploratory study is limited to only a single manufacturing firm in Malaysia.



This study will add to the corpus of literature on green marketing strategy by manufacturing firm in Malaysia, an area which is still under represented in academic literature on marketing in Malaysia.




The history of green marketing as an academic construct or field of inquiry can be traced back to the first workshop on "Ecological Marketing" conducted by American marketing Association (AMA) in 1975. The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first

books on green marketing entitled "Ecological Marketing" written by Henion and Kinnear (1976a, cited in Polonsky, 1994). Since that publication, a number of other books on the topic have been published (Charter 1992;Coddington 1993; Ottman 1993 cited in Polonsky, 1994). Refinement to the green marketing construct has continuously emerged in literature. Polonsky (2011) in his paper Transformative Green Marketing : Impediments and Opportunities criticize the approach generally adopted by scholars in defining green marketing. According to Polonsky (2011), scholars define green marketing using a range of terms (e.g., green marketing, ecological marketing, environmental marketing, and even responsible marketing) which share a common focus on the exchange process (i.e., choices and decisions), with an exception that differentiate it from conventional marketing i.e. that exchange must take into consideration and must minimize harms to the environment. Polonsky (2011) criticize such definitions as being unclear in their objective to improve the quality of life of the worlds citizen or the natural environment. To Polonsky (2011), an effective denition of green marketing must integrate transformative change that creates value for individuals and society,as well as for the natural environment (i.e., environmental restoration and improvement). Thus, according to Polonsky (2011), the novel construct of transformative green marketing is very different from a marketing perspective that focuses on not producing societal harm which at present is the approach of choice for most green marketers. At present, the approach of most green marketers can be categorized as focusing on meeting human needs rather than enhancing mankind's quality of life and improving the natural environment. For the past five years, there was a realization amongst academic writers that the construct green marketing has been so muddled to the extent that the use of green marketing strategy has caused a backlash (mainly in the form of consumers scepticism) to the firms which use them. Brennan (2008) in her article Is it Green Marketing, Greenwash or Hogwash? We need to know if We Want to Change Things citing Polonsky and

Rosenberger (2001) commented that green marketing or the incorporation of environmental dimensions into marketing activities promised consumers of the 1990s socially responsible marketing activities. However, as pointed out by Crane (2000 cited in Brennan, 2008) the term now is being used to cover a wide range of corporate activities regardless of how environmentally appropriate or sustainable they might actually be in practice. This unscrupulous practice has led to consumer disillusionment in green marketing (Roberts, 2008 cited in Brennan,2008).



Synthesis on theoretical framework on green marketing found that theoretically green marketing activities is regarded as intervention strategy to the ordinary marketing activities. This intervention is needed in response to challenges presented by the growing concern for the environment- challenges which cannot be handled by ordinary marketing strategy (Kinoti, 2011,p.267). A model which illustrates how green marketing can respond to environmental challenges has been proposed by Kinoti (2011,p.267) as illustrated by Fig.1 below. The green marketing intervention model proposed by Kinoti (2011) consist of incorporating green elements or environmental consideration into the elements of marketing mix. In Kinotis theoretical framework above, she takes a liberal approach by not limiting the Ps of the marketing mix to the traditional four Ps as postulated by Kotler and other pioneer of the marketing mix construct. Nor does Kinotis theoretical framework above inform us whether



Conventional Marketing

Environmental concerns today (Global Warming etc)

Green Marketing Intervention Strategies Green product strategies Green pricing strategies Green promotion strategies Green consumption Green probe strategies (marketing information system)


Improved Organizational Performance Market share Customer satisfaction Competitive advantage Profitability Positive Company Image

Improved Environmental Quality Reduced air & water pollution Conservation of usual resources and animals More energy reservoirs Reduced raw material usage Other improvements

Fig. 1 : Theoretical Framework of Green Marketing Intervention Strategy (Adapted from Kinoti, 2011)

the Ps of the marketing mix as listed by her are exhaustive or not. Nevertheless, Kinotis theoretical theoretical framework above is sufficient for the researchers in this research to formulate the conceptual framework employed in this research.



Literature on empirical framework of green marketing forms the bulk of literature on the subject of green marketing. Rex and Baumann (2007) in their paper Beyond Ecolabels : What Green Marketing Can Learn from Conventional Marketing provided a quick glance of the nature of empirical green marketing literature in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to them, the main focuses of the green marketing literature in the late 1980s and early 1990s came almost exclusively to be the empirical area of green marketing especially the size of the green market and the prole of the green consumers. In fact, according to Rex and Baumann (2007), some scholars even say that the latter (consumer proling) was the only area of interest in studying the greening of the consumer. Rex and Baumann (2007) also found that surveys, which provided bulks of the empirical data,showed extensive green market potential. They cited the work of Margrath (1992) who referred to a study showing that93% of adults consider a products environmental impact important when they purchase something and to the work of Peattie (1992) who reported that in developed countries, up to 75% of the population used environmental criteria regularly in some purchase decisions. Rex and Baumann (2007) also cited the work of Simintiras et al. (1994) which recalled that 42% of UK consumers chose products on the basis of their environmental performance and that 27% of British adults were prepared to pay up to 25% more for environmentally friendly products. From the late 1990s up till recent time the empirical-centric trend of green marketing literature shows no sign of slowing down. For example, as recent as in 2012, Juwaheer,Pudaruth and Noyaux published their paper entitled Analysing the Impact of

Green Marketing Strategies on Consumer Purchasing Patterns in Mauritius. This paper is a classic empirical analysis of survey results on the impact green marketing strategies towards consumers pattern of consumption in Mauritius. Despite acknowledging that survey such as theirs is a staple academic exercise in green marketing area, the authors justified their research on the ground that there are only a small body of research which has been focused on the impact of green marketing strategies on consumer purchasing patterns in the context of developing countries.



A survey on local academic literature on green marketing found that the local academic scene is still lagging behind in term of size of the corpus of works on green marketing. Among available literature are those by Ahmed, Kamalanabhan and Chih (2001) and Rahbah and Abdul Wahid (2011).None of the cited local literature above dealt with the conceptualization of green marketing. One of the earliest local literature on green marketing, the paper by Ahmed, Kamalanabhan and Chih (2001) entitled Green Marketing and Its Implications on Consumers and Businesses in Malaysia-An Empirical Study was a study of selected aspects of the green revolution in Malaysia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.The study focused on consumers perceptions of green, their purchase decision and the marketing strategies adopted by green corporations. Among the significant finding of the study was that consumers still do not fully comprehend what constitute green products. Most understood it to be products that do not harm the environment. The study also found that higher incomes consumers were more inclined to purchase green products. Rahbah and Abdul Wahid (2011) entitled Investigation of Green Marketing Tools Effect on Consumers Purchase Behavior examined whether green marketing tools (i.e. environmental advertisement, eco-label and eco-brand) as a variable, affects the consumers

actual purchasing behaviour among consumers in Penang. The study concluded that consumers believe that environmental advertisement increases their knowledge about green products however due to the lack of environmental advertisement in Malaysia, people are not familiar with most of the alternative products.



Recent developments on conceptualization of green marketing place the construct of green marketing within a larger construct known as sustainable marketing. This academic trend grows out of the academic realization that in the effort to find a compromise between economics interests of the firms and the environmental wellbeing of the planet, green marketing is not the be-all and end-all solution-instead, it is one of the components of a larger, holistic solution. Bridges and Wilhelm (2008) in their conceptual paper on sustainable marketing entitled Going Beyond Green : The Why and How of Integrating Sustainability into the Marketing Curriculum, discussed the differences between the construct of green marketing and sustainable marketing. Green marketing tend to be issue-based (e.g. the planet needs to conserve energy) and also tend to emphasize the environmental (green) dimension of sustainability. Sustainable marketing, on the other hand, is a more holistic, integrative approach that puts equal emphasis on environmental and other considerations such as social equity and economic/financial concerns in the development of a firm marketing strategies. Academic approach of treating the construct of green marketing as a stand-alone construct which can be inquired in isolation of other constructs has been criticised as early as in the mid-1990s. Mitchell, Wooliscroft and Higham (2008) in their article entitled Sustainable Market Orientation: A New Approach to Managing Marketing Strategy stated that current reliance on micromarketing should be replaced by a new marketing paradigm in which macromarketing concepts take a central role. Apparently, to Mitchell, Wooliscroft and

Higham (2008), green marketing does not amount to macromarketing as pointed out by Bridges and Wilhelm (2008), green marketing tend to be issue-based and is a marketing approach which focus only on a facet of sustainable marketing. In other words, green marketing is a micromarketing approach. Hunt (1981,p.8 cited in Mitchell, Wooliscroft and Higham,2008,p.162) points out that macromarketing is a system-based process that calls for the examination of the impact and consequence of marketing systems on society and the impact and consequence of society on marketing system. Although academics advocated that corporate marketing management should effectively and productively manage factors including economic risk, social, cultural, and environmental considerations, marketing practitioners tend to be focused on green marketing in isolation overlooking the broader social and environmental responsibilities required by holistic application of corporate sustainable management (van Dam and Apeldoorn, 1996 cited in Mitchell, Wooliscroft and Higham,2008,p.162).

2.6 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK (OPERATIONALIZATION OF THEORY) In this study, based on the theoretical framework, a conceptual framework or operationalization of the theory has been developed by the researchers as represented by the following model (Fig. 2) below. In the conceptual framework model, the researchers replicate Kinoti (2011) model but with a slight improvement. The researchers have confined the marketing mix to the traditional 4 Ps as originally formulated by McCarthy in the 1960(Fyall and Garrod,2005,p.105) though since its formulation numerous other elements have been added to the mix, according to marketing scholars, such additional elements is contained within the 4 Ps-for example, question arise whether sales force has been left out (because it starts with an S) but the answer is no, it has not been left out, instead it comes under promotion along with advertising, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing (Kotler, 2003, p.108).





GREEN MARKETING (INTERVENTION STRATEGY) Green Product Green Place Green Price Green Promotion


Fig. 2 : Conceptual Framework of Panasonic Green Marketing

The elements of green marketing mix are not exclusive of each other but instead may be overlapping as can be seen from the following discussion. Green products strategies comprise any or a combination of among others, recycling, reduction of packaging materials, re-consumption, using sustainable source of raw materials, making more durable products, designing products that are repairable, making products that are safe for disposal, making products and packaging that are compostable (biodegradeable) and making products that are safer or more pleasant to use (Bhat, 1993; Ashley, 1993; Polonsky et al, 1997; Ottman, 1998 and Charter et al, 1999 cited in Kinoti, 2011,p.268). Green place strategies is not quite self explanatory.Place in the 4Ps refer to channels of distributions (Harris and Dennis,2008,p.221) i.e. logistics. According to Kinoti (2011,p.268) The most common form of greening logistics is reverse channel system. Reverse channel systems deal with the issue of post-consumer recycling. According to Kinoti (2011,p.268) recycling involves extracting and reusing useful substances found in the waste which is different from the traditional approach of waste disposal which can be described as linear in which the waste is simply dumped. The definition of recycle clearly demonstrates that the goal is to reverse this result by achieving a circular flow that effects a reintegration of materials with markets (Fuller et al, 1997 cited in Kinoti,2011,p.268). Green pricing strategies simply means the strategies to bring the consumers to come to term and accept the fact that green products come with premium price tags- at least in the consumers perception. Many consumers assume that green products are often priced higher than conventional products (Peattie, 1999; Polonsky, 2001 cited in Kinoti, 2011,p.268). While their assumption may be true Peattie (1999 cited in Kinoti, 2011,p.268) argues that these products are not unusually expensive, but the conventional products are unrealistically cheap because they do not add the socio-environmental costs of production, product use and disposal. Peattie proposes that one way to deal with the eco-friendly products with high price controversy is to ask the consumer whether they want to continue buying inexpensive

products that damage the environment? The implication of the above is that consumers need to be more informed on benefits of green products in order for them to come to their purchase decision more objectively-which bring our discussion to the last of the green Ps-the green promotion. Kinoti (2011,p.269) have reviewed the literature relating to the conceptualization of green promotion and had listed the results of her survey as follows :

Green promotion is an activity of promoting products as having characteristics that do not harm the natural environment (Polonsky et al, 1997).

According to Benerjee et al (1995) it should meet one or more of the following criteria: i) Explicitly or implicitly addresses the relation between a product/service and the biophysical environment. ii) Promotes a green lifestyle with or without highlighting a product/service. iii) Presents a corporate image of environmental responsibility.

According to Scholossberg (1993) as quoted by Polonsky (1997), green promotion helps consumers to overcome the greatest environmental hazard, that is, the lack of environmental information.

According to Kinoti (2011,p.269) Scholossbergs viewpoints are echoed in the works of Ottman (1997) and Zint and Frederick (2001) who argue that green companies should not assume that consumers are knowledgeable about environmental issues or actions they engage in. Ottman (1997 cited in Kinoti, 2011,p.269) has suggested several green promotion strategies. Among them, the business should educate consumers on the environmental problems that a green product solves and demonstrate to consumers how environmentally sound products and services can help consumers protect health, preserve the environment for future generations.




Various attempts at conceptualization of green marketing found in the survey of relevant literature provide compelling evidence against the existence of a general academic construct of green marketing. At best it can be said that the conceptualization of green marketing is still an evolving area. However, new emerging trend that place green marketing as a sub-

construct within a larger and holistic academic construct of sustainable marketing may one day gains prominence and eclipsed the current discourse on green marketing.






Green marketing as an academic construct is a relatively new phenomenon as revealed by the literature review. Conceptualization of the construct is still an ongoing process as revealed by the fact that as recent as 2011, lliterature on conceptualization of green marketing is still being written (see,for example,Kinoti, 2011). It is not an overstatement if it is said that researchers attempting to carry out a research on green marketing are treading on a still unfamiliar ground.



As can be seen, the research questions in this study are drafted in an exploratory form-using the Wh questions i.e. Who, What, Where, Why, Which, When or How. As has been pointed out by Mooi and Sarstedt,2011,p.13) research design is highly related to the identification and formulation of the problem. In the case of exploratory questions, they demand answers arrived at through the process of exploratory research. As such the researchers in current research had decided that this research should assume the design of an exploratory research. Exploratory research is performed when researcher has very little information available on a particular subject of inquiry (Hair, Celsi,Money, Samouel and Page,2011,p. 147). This is precisely the case of green marketing in Malaysia nowadays where the dearth of local literature, conceptual or empirical, is glaringly noticeable. This research is also designed with the general objectives of exploratory research in mind i.e. to produce qualitative data. According to Zikmund and Babin (2007,p.133) most exploratory research are designed to produce qualitative data which are not characterized by numbers and instead are textual, visual or oral. The focus of qualitative research is not on

numbers but on stories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations,interpretations and other expressive descriptions. 3.4 METHODOLOGY

Qualitative exploratory research can take many forms (Hair et. al.,2011,p.148) i.e. it can be carried out using various methodologies. In this research, the researchers had concluded that the exploratory research will be carried out by employing the analysis of secondary data approach. This method is also known as document observation and document analysis and is carried out by examining recorded opinions, reports, news stories and other similar secondary data(Hair et. al.,2011,p.148) . Secondary data is defined as data which are

gathered and recorded by someone else prior to (and for purposes other than the current research. Secondary data usually are historical and already assembled and require no access to respondents or subjects (Zikmund and Babin,2007,p.160).According to Malhotra et. al., (2006 cited in Polonsky and Waller, 2010,p. 95) secondary data are materials that are already available and can be sourced internally (within an organization) or externally (from private organizations and the government in the form of published materials, computer databases and syndicated sources. 3.5 DATA COLLECTION METHOD

This research consist of two phases of secondary data analysis. The first phase review general available literature on green marketing (this general literature review is presented as chapter 2 of this research). This literature review shows a consistent theme i.e. up to as recent as 2011, marketing scholars still produce literature on conceptualization of green marketing. The researchers concluded that this shows that green marketing , as an academic construct, is still an evolving field of enquiry. The literature review also shows another consistent theme i.e. lack of local literature, either conceptual or empirical, on green

marketing in the Malaysian context. Based on this initial review, the researchers define problem statements and designed a research to explore the construct of green marketing in Malaysian by researching the focus of study. The second phase of secondary data analysis involved reviewing literature on the selected firm i.e. Panasonic Malaysias green initiative. Literature are obtained exclusively through the internet i.e. through Panasonic Malaysia website and through internet search using Google search engine employing the main search term Panasonic Malaysia in combination with any of the following terms : green,green marketing,environmental, environmental,environmentalism,sustainable development, corporate social a Malaysian based consumers electronics manufacturing firm as

responsibility and CSR. By putting double quotes around a single word, one is telling Google search engine to match that word precisely as one typed it. So for example, searching with the search terms Panasonic Malaysia green marketing will produce results which contain both set of words. The above mode of gathering data from the internet had enables the researchers in this research to obtain a broadbased secondary textual materials on Panasonic Malaysia and their environmentalism efforts. The focus of qualitative research is not on numbers but on stories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations,interpretations and other expressive descriptions(Zikmund and Babin,2007,p.133). In order to convey these stories, visual

portrayals, meaningful characterizations,interpretations and other expressive descriptions and thus answering the research questions,the next step is to narrow down the pool of textual materials obtained to by zooming only to textual materials that are related to green marketing. After the researchers had narrowed down the selection, the coding phase began. Coding was done by pigeonholing the filtered materials according to the categories of green marketing intervention strategies adapted from Kinoti (2011,p.264) in her paper on

green marketing. As explained in Chapter 2, this research limits the pigeonholes only to the traditional four marketing mix elements i.e. product,place,price and promotion.After the secondary data has been organized around themes or categories, this research employed a deductive approach for analysis of the secondary data based on an examination of the data guided by conceptual framework of the green marketing construct as found in the literature review.




The study found that Panasonic marketing activities fits all the four green Ps of the green marketing mix as revealed by the secondary materials studied. As has been said elsewhere in this research, the focus of qualitative research is not on numbers but on stories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations, interpretations and other expressive descriptions. This chapter will provide such stories,portrayals,characterization, interpretations and other expressive descriptions based on the secondary data gathered. 4.2 4.2.1 THE FINDINGS Green Products Strategies

Panasonic Malaysia manufactures consumers electronic appliances ranging from digital audio video (AV) appliances, home appliances (air-conditioners, washing machines etc),personal and beauty care appliances, document solutions (fax,printer etc),

communication gadgets and security system (security camera etc) (Panasonic, 2012a). The design philosophy of Panasonic product is what they termed as the Four Pillars of Energy Solution. According to Panasonic (2012b), this philosophy provides an end to end solutions which comprise of energy creation, energy storage, energy saving and energy management. All of its consumer electronic goods are covered by the last two pillars i.e. the energy saving philosophy and the energy management philosophy. The first two philosophies are product specific, the energy creation philosophy being embodied in their high-efficiency HIT solar modules that can be fitted into various on-grid & off-grid application (Panasonic, 2012b) whereas the energy storage philosophy is embodied in storage cells that utilizes Lithium-ion batteries with a capacity amongst the highest in the industry (Panasonic, 2012b). This

storage cell may someday be used to power electric vehicle as hinted by Panasonic Malaysia in 2011 (The Star Online, 2011) . Panasonic however, is more well known for its green home appliances such as air conditioners and washing machine which they tout as energy efficient compared with their other rival. Panasonic range of air curtains for example is touted as equipped with speciallydesigned motor which reduces power consumption by 35% (Panasonic, 2012c) Panasonics

range of air-conditioner is equipped with the INVERTER and ECONAVI technologies. INVERTER technology is an intelligent technology which provides a high-precision method of maintaining the room set temperature by varying the rotation speed of the compressor; thus giving consumers energy savings of up to 50% whereas ECONAVI features intelligent Human Activity Detection and new Sunlight Detection technologies that can sense and reduce waste by optimising air conditioner operation according to room conditions (Panasonic, 2012d). Apart from its range of air-conditioner, Panasonic range of washing machines is also equipped with the INVERTER and ECONAVI technology which reduces electricity consumption (Panasonic, 2012e)In February, 2012, Panasonic introduces four types of ecofriendly LED bulbs from standard to full distribution, clear, glass type and halogen, which can save energy up to 80 per cent, while emitting the same brightness (The Borneo Post Online,2012).Panasonic Malaysia is aiming for 80% of its total sales by March 2013 to come from a wide range of eco-products which are also energy efficient and eco-friendly (The Star Online, 2011)All these shows that Panasonic is carrying out green intervention strategies in term of its product in the marketing mix.



Price is one of the main factor that perhaps deter consumer from buying the green products as comparatively they are slightly expensive from the ordinary run-of-the-mill products and in this regard Panasonic products are no exception. When asked whether should be Panasonic be more competitive with their pricing of eco-friendly products in comparison to mainstream products, Panasonic (M) Sdn Bhd deputy managing director Chris Tomachi does not deny that price of eco-friendly products is slightly on the high side but insist that education is the key to consumer acceptance of the high price. According to Tomachi, Panasonic is concentrating on education. We believe theres an S cycle. Meaning, initially the demand will be very niche, then a tipping point, then the product will become a commodity and we can cost down tremendously. Right now, for eco products were still trying very hard to push the products to this tipping point. A lot of education is required. The consumers must really be aware and understand these products (before they can come to acceptance of the higher price tags on the products) (The Star Online ,2012).


Place (Logistics)

The Star Online (2010, October 18) reported that the main distribution hub for all the electrical items manufactured by all Panasonic manufacturing plants in the country is located in an eco-friendly integrated logistics complex in Shah Alam. The 16 acres facility which includes 365,000 sq ft of covered warehouse and a three-storey office block boasts environmental-friendly features such as rain water harvest technology, solar street lighting, translucent roofing for natural lights, a heat reflectant index roofing system, and natural air ventilation, among others. The rainwater harvest technology would utilise and treat rainwater for use in the toilets, as well as for landscaping and the washing of vehicles and equipment. The street and compound lightings are solar powered with ten hours power reserve and are

able to switch to AC power supply if there is a shortage of the solar generated power. In order to further save on electricity usage, the facility uses translucent roofing which allows the usage of sunlight to light the warehouse during the day and LED (light-emitting diode) lighting equipped with sensors. Further, usage of air-conditioners are minimized by the use of heat reflectant circulation. 4.2.4 Promotion roofing system which is set to maintain low temperature and natural air

The last P in the marketing mix i.e. promotion is perhaps Panasonic strongest green strategy. Based on the literature review, this research has pigeonholed Panasonic Malaysias promotion activities against the following criteria of green promotion : i) Explicitly or implicitly addresses the relation between a product/service and the physical environment. Panasonic Malaysia green promotion philosophy is embodied in their environmental policy which assures consumers that it will conduct its business activities in ways which leave minimal adverse impact on the environment (Panasonic, 2012f). . Towards this end, it introduces its EcoNavi line of products and the Inverter technology. According to Panasonic, being a user of save energy products, one can play a huge role in saving the world via reduction of carbon dioxide emission through electricity consumption (Panasonic, 2012b). This initiative shows that Panasonic Malaysia addresses the relation between its products and the physical environment. ii) Promotes a green lifestyle with or without highlighting a product/service. Panasonic is promoting their own philosophy of a whole nation sustainable living by producing and using eco-friendly products. This philosophy, which they termed as ECONATION aims for Malaysia to be a developed nation that is also environmentally sustainable or in their own words, an ECONATION, with zero emissions, social happiness,

security and enjoyment. In essence, ECONATION is a vision that facilitates energy creation utilising solar power and energy conservation using efficient, intelligent appliances which is part of Panasonic's holistic energy management programme that helps people efficiently create, store, save and manage energy without compromising on everyday comforts (Panasonic, 2012b). iii) Presents a corporate image of environmental responsibility. According to Panasonic, their commitment towards saving the environment is proven by carrying out pro-active steps in conservation activities, apart from manufacturing environmental-friendly products. In their efforts to preserve one of nature's endangered resources, Panasonic Malaysia has teamed up with Coral Malaysia to conserve Malaysia's rich coral reef ecosystem. Collaboratively with Coral Malaysia, Panasonic has constructed artificial reefs with suitable materials to sustain the home of a large variety of marine living organism. According to Panasonic Malaysia, this is their way of reversing the damages of the marine life caused by pollution, careless tourism and destructive fishing practices. Apart from that, Panasonic Malaysia is also involved in many other environmental cause related initiatives to help conserve the environment in various aspects. Other environmental contributions include their Computer Recycling project, Go Green Campaign and World Forestry Day sponsorship (Panasonic, 2012f).




Written By Ahmad Rawi The Writer can be contacted at


Based on the preceding chapters, this concluding chapter will attempt to answer the research questions posed at the beginning of this research: 1. Why does Panasonic Malaysia embark on their green marketing strategy initiatives

(i.e. Why does it go green?)

According to Panasonic, from past experience, they understands the difficulties of balancing an ecologically friendly existence against the demands of economic prosperity (Panasonic, 2012b). This study shows that this is not merely a marketing ploy to boost sales by manifesting a companys environmental stance or green washing. In this study Panasonic comes out to be a company which genuinely incorporate green elements into the components of its marketing mix. According to Panasonic Malaysia deputy managing director Chris Tomachi, their business strategy of incorporating environmental considerations in their business is their way of finding a balance between contributing back to the society and the economic aim of every business i.e. profits. In Tomachis own words, Its a balance. We have to make the contribution to society. That is an important investment, apart from our own business. And, it also contributes to improve our brand image, as a brand (The Star Online, 2012)


Level of environmentalism in Panasonic Malaysia Marketing Strategy i.e. does

Panasonic Malaysia incorporate environmentalism in all its marketing mix (discussion will

only be limited to the traditional 4 Ps of the marketing mix) or only to few selected elements (one or two Ps) of the marketing mix?

From the pigeonholing exercise of this research, this research found that green policy is incorporated into all the four Ps of the traditional marketing mix.


Does the green marketing strategy of Panasonic Malaysia a fad or a long-term

orientated policy? In the literature being reviewed, green marketing is employed as intervention strategy i.e. intervention to the conventional marketing strategy which does not place any concern for the environment in their marketing activities. This study concludes that Panasonic Malaysia is also employing the same strategy o obtain better results either in term of profits, brand image and the conservation of environment and not just a fad. Furthermore, environmental policy and long term strategic planning (i.e. the ECONATION philosophy) have been formulated and serve as guide to Panasonic Malaysia business direction.

From the outset, it has been explained that hypotheses will only be offered at the end of the study. In this regard, the researchers has formulated the following hypotheses based on this study : Incorporating environmental consideration in the marketing strategy of a firm will impact the firms bottom line positively due to the positive brand image it generated This research will not test the above hypotheses on the premise that hypotheses testing is a task of researchers who are interested to further this research to its conclusive stage after this exploratory research has been completed. The task of this exploratory

research being limited only to getting as much information as possible about green marketing in the context of a Malaysian based manufacturing firm and such information is to be used by further researcher wishing to embark on conclusive or confirmatory studies on green marketing.


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