As economic conditions worsened over the past year, one trend that appeared likely to slow was consumers' interest in green products. The pullback was expected because green products often carry a higher price tag than less-green options. The expectation was that consumers would revert back to purchasing lower priced alternatives, even if they were not as environmentally friendly as other products on the market.
According to the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report, a weak economy has not eliminated green sentiment among consumers. One interesting finding was 67% of persons surveyed said it was important to purchase products with social or environmental benefits, even in these difficult economic times. Furthermore, 51% indicated they would pay more for such products. Consumers surveyed also expressed an inclination to tell others about companies' social responsibility practices, both bad and good. A majority of consumers (71%) indicated they were more likely to tell others about a company's practices of which they disapproved. Also, 48% of respondents said they would encourage others to not purchase products from a company because of that company's social responsibility practices.
Findings from the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report should serve as a call to marketers to examine the current state of their green practices. Any notion that consumers would chuck environmental concern because of a recession is dispelled based on this study's findings. The bottom line is that a large percentage of consumers care about the impact businesses have on the environment as well the impact of their own consumption. Are there ways to exhibit social responsibility that are not currently being undertaken? Are there social responsibility practices that should be communicated to customers and the public? A fine line exists between impacting a target market with green marketing strategies and self-congratulatory communications. But, the stakes are too high, both for the environment and for customer relationships, to not be proactive in the area of social responsibility.
Link: Center for Media Research - "Consumers Want Proof It's Green"
Labels: Green Marketing, Social Responsibility