Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Major

Marketing: Marketing Management Program

Research Sponsor

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

First Reader

Susan Hanlon

Second Reader

Andrew Platt

Abstract

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has developed a new tire that replaces petroleum with a more sustainable resource: soybean oil. Following an unexpected surge of popularity in the press, Goodyear decided to look into marketing options for this new tire. For this purpose, the research team is testing market reactions to eco-friendly products, reactions to specific tire names, and potential pricing options for the tire.

Previous research indicated multiple areas of concern, including a general skepticism towards “green” terminology, perceptions of low quality in eco-friendly products, and a lack of willingness to purchase eco-friendly products in older generations. The team decided to test the questions and concerns with focus groups and a survey. Results confirmed the skepticism mentioned in earlier research, although the public may be more open to “eco-friendly” terminology than they are to “green” terminology. However, the public is more receptive to sustainable products, although Millennials are not more favorable to these products than Generation X or Baby Boomers are. Assuming that Goodyear can emphasize the increased performance of its new tire, it may be able to charge a premium of 5% to 10%. In addition, brand loyalty to eco-friendly companies may be more important than the environmental friendliness of any particular product.

With these thoughts in mind, the team recommends a marketing strategy that emphasizes Goodyear’s overall eco-friendly efforts. Goodyear’s ability to charge a price premium will depend on its selection of a target market, but above all else, authenticity will be essential in its future endeavors.

Comments

This research explores possible consumer demand for environmentally-friendly tires.

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