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Sustainability, marketing and the co-creation of value

Alexander, Anthony 2011. Sustainability, marketing and the co-creation of value. Presented at: Learning from nature – the new agenda for business success: A Tomorrow’s Natural Business Conference, Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales, London, UK, 11 November 2011.

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Ecological habitats or niches may provide a useful analogical insight for marketing strategists compared to the traditional concept of 'markets'. In contrast to conventional 'goods-dominant' views of marketing, aligned with the era of 'mechanical rationalism', service-dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2004, 2011) puts a strong sense of subjectivity back in. Products can be redefined in terms of the functional services they offer to people. The value that they have is a matter of 'co-creation' where the old goods-dominant logic of the producer and consumer, interacting only through their exchange of product for money, starts to break down. Instead, SD-Logic is inherently about including what the consumer values in the nature of how products (or services) are designed. This includes such issues as brand values, the ethics of the supply chain and pro-environmental product design. This contextuality is highly significant. Rather than the universal truths that neo-classical economics inherited from the mechanical worldview of Newtonian physics, SD-Logic is aligned to the biological worldview of Darwin. Particular habitats may be better ways of visualising given markets, from the perspective of any given company. Where they are located, what opportunities are available for them for consumers to reach them, and how they fare in the daily tempest of the external environment are critical, and highly contextual issues, affecting the success of businesses. The global recession has been like a climatic change in the macro-economy (or perhaps a seasonal cycle), but for the individual, business-specific concerns of the marketing strategist, surviving these changes means understanding what has happened to the habitat in which they operate. What elements from biology might best be incorporated to help advance business success - predator-prey, or symbiosis? Certainly, SD-Logic suggests that it is the interdependence between producer and consumer that is vital for survival. By bringing a biological perspective onto marketing, it may help develop the SD-logic paradigm to enable a richer general theory of marketing in the age of the 'triple context' of people, profit and planet.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:44

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