Investigating the Market Share and Potential of Greener Consumer Products.
Michael T. Hernke

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison

School of Business, OIM Dept.

975 University Ave.

Madison, WI 53705  USA

(608) 236-0576 phone


Most greener consumer products have only realized a small niche presence in their product categories. However profitable the niche segments might be, their potential to motivate higher rates of stewardship is limited. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for expanding the market potential of greener products. It presents a typology of generic product strategies based on who will pay for environmental and social benefits of product stewardship. The typology considers both internal and external stakeholder benefits, including market appeal. Then this paper reviews research on approaches to green design that integrate environmental and market perspectives. The design approaches explicitly consider how specific green product attributes can also impact a product’s market potential. The research indicates that product attributes can be developed to have broad appeal if they deliver both environmental and important performance benefits. Green product attributes with broad appeal derive from leverage points for improving environmental performance in accordance with preliminary market research on customer needs. Thus, a stewardship perspective can help frame technology choices for promising new products.

All Submissions
8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting