going green

I was very inspired by last week's assignment to present a new strategic initiative for The Home Depot. After meeting my own opinion with a travel through the website and a visit to the store I realized what a wonderful opportunity the retailer has.

Wal-Mart owns the everyday low price retailer position. They do this by negotiating lower prices with their vendors, who often have to develop line extensions (sub brands) in order to make a profit. In these extensions, packaging and product are sub-par to the typical brand product (thank you, Rob, for explaining this to me with regard to Boston Cutlery). Vendors who have a hard time adapting to the often quick turnaround time end up losing money.

With growing concerns for the health of our environment, a lot of people are asking "what can I do?" Eco-friendly products are not just a trend, they are a a byproduct of our mixed economy, advocated in both earned media and advertising.

The Home Depot's two main consumers are somewhat opposed to each other is philosophy. The construction worker has his or her tried and true methods of production with familiar products at familiar price points. The do-it-yourself[er] is willing to experiment with methods and products, given the price point is within reason.

Culture is encouraging the individual to go green for him- or herself. What if The Home Depot promoted their "Eco Options" campaign to the DIY target in-store by making a decision to keep its vendors accountable for the environmental sustainability of their products?

What if THD went to vendors and negotiated for more eco-friendly line extensions? These products could stand apart from others on the shelf with a green SKU label. THD could encourage environmental responsibility in our economy's largest industry, construction, in a small way. They could lead the green movement.

The Home Depot could go green.


Anonymous said...

If Home Depot does that, they're going to cut off a lot of customers who don't want to pay the price premium for "green" products. A better solution is to come up with in-store tagging that lets consumers know if a product meets Home Depot's "green" standards, and have it be tiered like the architectural Leeds certification is, silver, gold, platinum, etc.

This would also give them an in-store premium product that they could have graduated pricing on allowing them to be more profitable.

Katie Kelley said...

thanks anonymous. see revised.