There’s no denying that companies & advertisers are attempting to use green marketing, including production of greener products, to reach their audiences – but are consumers really listening? And more importantly, do they really care?
According to the US Factsheet, 51% of Americans today would be more willing to purchase an environmentally-friendly product in the next 12 months (if the cost of that good were to stay the same). Alternatively, 89% of respondents from a survey conducted in the UK, US, China, Brazil, Germany, France, Mexico and India reported that they would be more likely to purchase green goods in the next 12 months. It was also found that 35% were even willing to pay more for such products.
However, numbers may be deceiving. In 2011 Havas Media and MPG released a study which reported that worldwide, only 5% of consumers take into account a products sustainability when making a purchasing decision. Couple that with the fact that only 10% of the population worldwide consistently make environmentally-friendly purchases, and it may seem like green marketing has an up-hill battle.
So why isn’t everyone jumping on the green bandwagon? According to many reports, simple confusion may be to blame. According to a 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Study, 71% of respondents stated that they were confused by the green messaging and language they use in order to speak about their sustainable efforts.
The good news? Although slow, progress is being made towards consumer education and shifts in their attitudes. In 1990 a study entitled The Environment: Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior was put into place in order to understand if it was possible to affect consumer’s attitudes towards green products and marketing. The same study was put into effect in 2010 and found that:
- Today, US consumers are taking twice the amount of proactive steps to help the environment
- 59% of Americans recycle
- 18% of Americans commute in an environmentally-friendly way
In addition to those stats, 70% of consumer now say they have understanding about how to distinguish between environmentally-friendly and not products – and how much each of those affects the environment. Even more interesting – three out of four studied say they actually feel good when they choose products and environmentally-friendly companies.