But, concludes the study, the fact that not all green consumers are the same creates a great opportunity for advertisers to better understand the purchasing motivations of mainstream green consumers, one of the largest and fastest growing markets nationwide. The study segments green consumers into four main groups:
- 23% of market... early-adopters of green who are looking to make a long-term impact
- Mostly adults (35+)
- Skew female
- More educated
- Higher percent live in metropolitan areas
- Respond most to the "positively impact the environment" message
- 24% of market... trend-setters who are motivated to be green to look cool
- Younger (18-34)
- More ethnically diverse
- Respond to messages about "everybody else is doing it," newest technology, cool/hip.
- 13% of market... motivated to be green by immediate benefits such as saving money or improving health
- Skew a bit older (45+)
- More with children
- Over-index in rural areas
- 17% of market, recognize green as important but place the responsibility more on others than themselves
- Younger adults (25-34)
- More women with kids
- Respond to messages about providing a better life for their family
- The other 23% of the market says they don't care about the environment, or they say they care, but they don't take any action.
Two of the segments present the biggest opportunity for advertisers, says the report... the "trendy" consumers who go green to be cool, and the "deeply committed". These segments buy more green products, discuss green issues often, and convince others to make the same green purchases.
- 80% of the "deeply committed" and 69% of the "trendy" consumers have made a green purchase in the past 6 months
- 79% of "deeply committed" and "trendy" consumers say that if they like a product they will always tell their friends
- 70% of the "trendy" and 66% of "deeply committed" consumers who have recently purchased a green alternative product have convinced a family/friend to buy the same product
The study reports that Online is an important source for green information:
- More than two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents cite online as a source of green information, on par with traditional media (72%)
- In the online space, people look most to portal websites (Yahoo!, MSN, etc.) for more information on green products (51%), likely due to the richness of content offered by such sites.
- Second is online search (44%)
- Reading online reviews by users also high (40%). People look to user reviews more than professional reviews (24%)
- Lowest is a company website (20%) and blogs (21%)
- A large percent of people still look to TV ads for more info on green products (47%), especially in the household cleaning product category (37%)
This study included 1,500 internet respondents between the ages of 18-54 from a diverse cross-section of the population from around the country, as well as in-person interviews with people who live in Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland. 8% of people were screened out of this survey because they stated that they were "not at all conscious with regard to their health and the environment". Therefore, survey respondents include an Internet representative sample of 92% of consumers.