Measure

Customer outreach: how to extend product lifetimes

Customer outreach: how to extend product lifetimes
© auremar, image #170875847, 2017, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Energy, Materials, Water, Waste, Carbon
Sector:
All manufacturing industries
Cost:
Low cost
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate, Advanced
What is in it for you:
Building consumer trust. Develop the market for maintenance products used by customers. Combining after-sales with customer loyalty programmes.
Descriptive information:

Two key factors determine a product's lifetime: the way it is designed and built, and whether consumers choose to properly maintain (repair) or to replace it.

Manufacturers are in control of the first factor and can very much influence the second by providing detailed descriptions and guidelines on how to use and maintain the product efficiently to extend product life. This is already a widespread practice for a number of high-value durable products, such as vehicle and building components (i.e. windows, doors), as well some more common products like shoes and clothing.

Although several 'green' product classifications are well known to customers, such as eco-labels and energy efficiency scales, these do not provide direct information on how customers can extend product life or use the product more efficiently. More information, such as servicing regimes, cleaning instructions, and storage best-practices, can easily be provided as packaging inserts or online. 

A system to rate durability could also include criteria about whether or not consumers receive adequate information on the average lifetime of the product (i.e. the technical lifetime of the product under regular conditions). For example, the Austrian standard demands that the average lifetime for white goods (refrigerators, washing machines, etc.) must be at least 10 years, and 5 years for brown goods (TV sets, radios, videos, etc.).

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