A new study casts aside the supposition that younger consumers are more eager to buy environmentally friendly products than older ones. Results show shoppers in the 18-to-34 demo are "slower to embrace" behavior where they would pay more for eco-friendly products than in age groups 35 to 44 and 55 to 64.
Overall, nearly 25% of shoppers will pay more for "something if it makes them feel like they are contributing to saving the environment."
Results come from "The Checkout" study from Omnicom shopper marketing arm the Integer Group, and M/A/R/C Research. The study also determined there is a "higher eco-consciousness" among people 55+ versus younger people.
Organic and other eco-friendly products can cost more, and a M/A/R/C Research executive suggested that so-called "green marketers" might need to consider some sort of rewards program -- although not necessarily with a financial base.
"Marketers must focus on the emotional need instead of only the functional benefits if they want to see change," stated M/A/R/C Research Executive Vice President Randy Wahl. "They need to make it worth their while. Price and quality are largely functional benefits. An emotional reward that focuses on how consumers feel versus the functional environmental benefit is the territory in which marketers must play."
The Integer Group's Craig Elston stated: "To change behavior, the incentive must be compelling with tangible benefits. If shoppers can't see or feel an immediate reward for this new behavior - saving money, time, creating social change, etc.-- they'll opt to stick with what they know."