Correctly Identify Opportunities and Threats to the Essay

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correctly identify opportunities and threats to the products of soap and laundry detergent. Specifically, three marketing environment forces will be identified that impact this type of products. These include environmental quality factors such as sewage treatment and other environmental pollution issues in the detergent manufacturing plants, allergies to chemicals or other ingredients in the products themselves and product changes dictated by various changes in washing machines. In the essay, the author will also describe each force and analyze why and how it will impact the soap and detergent industry.

One of the primary issues that the soap and laundry detergent is the issue of pollution in the manufacture of the product. Whether from a desire to avoid running afoul of government fines and regulation, to avoid litigation from issues related to pollution or to avoid bad public relations or "ecotage" (actual sabotage by environmental radicals) this issue is probably the number one issue that the industry has to deal with. A case study in illustrates this well. In 1960's and 1970's, environmentalist activist Jim Phillips (the "Fox) engaged in what would now be considered eco-terrorism when he limed over sewage pipes of the Aurora, Illinois Armour-Dial soap factory operation there when it dumped raw sewage into the local Fox River. His 7-year battle against the soap and meat packing plant brought enough heat and publicity to cause the state of Illinois to sue Armour-Dial in 1975 for violation of Illinois anti-pollution laws. The plant then starting treating the raw sewage and stopped its dumping (Hoekstra, 2001).

The 1970s marked the beginning of this type of environmental sensitivity (and sensitivity to public opinion on the issue). The Proceedings of the 4th World Conference on Detergents in 1999 noted with relief that the 1992 Rio de Janeiro United Nations Conference on Environment and Development acknowledged that chemicals had improved living standards (Sedlak, 1999, 80). What the industry was opposed to in 1999 and what is very important for today is to combat the difference between consumer goods and bulk chemicals.
The difference between the two would determine how governments would apply environmental laws and regulations to the soap industry. By extension, the need to make this distinction and to promote knowledge of the industry's role in environmental responsibility and the positive impact it has on the marketing of the product (ibid, 82). Obviously, this industry's companies that are perceived as responsible have a marketing edge over those who do not. Marketing strategies must emphasize this responsibility and separate responsible companies from polluters.

Interestingly, public sensitivity to the issue of allergens in detergents and soaps also began in the 1960's as well and regarding the immediate effects of the manufacturing process. The first adverse affects were reported in the professional literature in 1969 when reports of a 1967 respiratory allergy outbreak among 28 workers in an epidemic in a detergent plant. Tests indicated that the cause of the allergic reactions was due to the inhalation of enzyme powder. This particular cause of allergic reactions from soap materials is now unusual (Kanerva, 2000).

Much more common are dry skin reactions to soap and this can be differentiated by marketing distinctions as well. In such situations, it can be beneficial to discourage purchases of perfumed soap and the use of neutral brands such as Dove, Basis, Aveeno or Neutrogena dry skin soaps (. To avoid classification with such allergens, as well, many things can be done to avoid or deal with soaps to….....

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