The adoption of eco-friendly products

The success or failure of a new consumer product depends highly on how this product is marketed and, more importantly, to whom this product is marketed. Just because a product is better and cheaper, does not ensure that this product will be successful with consumers.

Dr. Monica Cojocaru works with students and collaborators to develop mathematical models to explain the factors that influence the success and adoption of new products, specifically those with social relevance like eco-friendly products such compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid cars or biodegradable plastic bags. Unfortunately, it is well known that eco-friendly products take longer to become adopted by the general population. 

Dr. Cojocaru and her colleagues look at a number of social and economic factors in order to explain this decreased willingness to adopt new eco-friendly products. Social influences include information from friends, consumer reviews, observing people using the product and even the level of “newness” (after all, if the product is too different, you might be afraid that you won’t know how to use it or maintain it!). Economic factors include the product price, availability, quality, brand and consumer income levels.

The goal of this work is to look at ideal strategies that can be employed to increase the likelihood of product success. Marketing a new product costs significant amounts of money and time, so knowing what combination of strategies to employ in the modern age is invaluable information for companies developing and selling these products.

Light bulb made up of grass

High school students interested in developing the mathematical and statistical skills to tackle a real world problem such as this should consider our Mathematical Science Major, with an Area of Emphasis in Economics.

Prospective graduate students interested in working with Dr. Cojocaru should visit her website, or read more about Graduate Studies at Guelph.