Monday, January 05, 2009

Best Marketing Practice : Take- Back Campaign by Nokia

Nokia recently announced a green marketing initiative in India. From January 1, the company is taking back used mobiles and chargers from the customers for recycling. The campaign titled as Take-Back campaign is a unique social responsibility initiative by this market leader.

Under this campaign, the company is encouraging the mobile users to give their old, unused, broken mobiles and chargers for recycling. The campaign is initially launched in Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and Ludhiana and will be expanded to national level in coming months.

Nokia has installed 1300 recycled bins at the Nokia Priority dealers across these pilot markets. Nokia also promises to plant one tree for every mobiles dumped. Another interesting fact is that the company accepts mobiles of any make.

This is a best practice because the brand is addressing an issue proactively. E-waste is going to be one of the worst environmental hazards in years to come. Mobiles contribute heavily towards this waste. India being the fastest growing mobile market in the world, this issue is going to be of mammoth size in the future.

The Take-Back campaign is aimed at educating people on the necessity of reducing e-waste through recycling. The concept of recycling is not popular in India and Nokia wants to set an example.

The campaign is also proactive because Nokia is the indisputable market leader in India with a share of 70 % in the mobile phone market. So the brand is responsible for contributing to the piling e-waste with regard to mobile phones.
Although Nokia says that the recycling will help the company in acquiring fresh raw materials, the new campaign is more of a social responsibility initiative rather than a business one.

By launching such an initiative, the brand is also giving an important lesson to other marketers. The lesson is about long term investment on brands. This take-back campaign is not going to generate any short -term benefits for the brand. Ofcourse it had given some positive PR for the brand but nothing more and nothing less. Indian consumers are not very thrilled by green marketing initiatives because of lack of awareness/concern. Second this campaign is also expensive because Nokia has to built an infrastructure to support this take-back. The benefits will come may be in future when consumers realize that the brand have foreseen such an environmental crisis and took proactive measures to reduce that . Now, How many brands will ever think of such an investment ?

In future companies will be made responsible for such accumulation of wastes . In developed countries, strict rules are now in force to check the proliferation of such wastes. India too will move to such a regulated regime in near future.

Hence it makes sense for a market leader to initiate such a campaign. It increases the brand equity ( in future) and also prepares a robust green logistics infrastructure for the future. Green logistics is denotes the logistical infrastructure to collect back the products from the customers for recycling or repair.

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