electronics

How Green Is My Appliance? Ask Green Bay, Wis.

appliance shopping

Consumers who buy environmentally friendly appliances come from all over, but they have some similar characteristics -- namely, a love of the outdoors.

According to a new study from Scarborough Research, cities as diverse as Honolulu, Hawaii; Green Bay, Wis., Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, Calif. are the leading cities for green appliance households. Leading the pack: Green Bay and Honolulu, where 40% of households have energy-saving appliances, as do 39% of households in Portland and 38% in San Francisco. On a national level, roughly a third (32%) currently have green appliances, according to the study.

"What you find is that makers across the country are adopting this [green] philosophy," Howard Goldberg, senior vice president of Scarborough Research, tells Marketing Daily. "It's not just the Californias and the markets you might expect."

And the trend should only pick up. According to Goldberg, 54% of people who plan to buy an energy-saving appliance in the next year haven't even shopped for one. As more consumers become aware of government rebates for turning in older appliances for newer, energy-efficient ones, the pace of shopping should pick up, he says. "That leaves a tremendous opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to get their brands in front of consumers," Goldberg says.

One place they may want to begin looking is at people who already own such appliances. Many consumers who already own energy-saving appliances have an affinity for other things environmental. According to Scarborough, they are 31% more likely to eat organic food and 21% more likely to garden. They're also more likely to participate in outdoor activities such as running, biking, jogging, and especially hiking.

They also tend to be looking for good deals. According to Scarborough, owners of energy-efficient appliances are 20% more likely to live in a household that uses coupons for non-grocery products and services twice a month or more. More than half of them (55%) also live in a household that typically gets coupons from the Sunday newspaper (but they're also 33% more likely to get coupons via e-mail or text message).

Marketers looking to capture these customers would be wise to consider these proclivities when putting together their media plans, Goldberg suggests. They may want to consider sponsoring a local race or other outdoor activity, have a presence at organic local markets and place ads near the coupons in Sunday papers, he says. "We can see how the early adopters behave from the data," he says. "It's about getting the right message out and getting them in front of these consumers."

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