Almost anyone who recycles can call themselves a "green" consumer these days. But there are some, including many in the higher-income demographic, who do much more than their fair share. Meet the Super Greenies.
According to Scarborough Research, these Super Greenies are the ones who engage in 10 or more environmentally friendly activities, such as recycling, composting, using rechargeable batteries and re-using grocery store bags. Although they only account for 5% of all U.S. adults, they are, by and large, a desirable demographic.
For instance, these Super Greenies are wealthy. According to Scarborough, they're 76% more likely to have incomes above $150,000 and own homes worth more than $500,000. (They're also more likely to have second homes and outpace the U.S. population when it comes to a diverse investment portfolio.) They're also the top spenders in all the retail categories tracked by Scarborough (which ranges from cosmetics and clothing to vehicles).
"I don't know that you necessarily think of someone who's a stereotypically environmentally friendly as being someone who's in a higher-income demographic," Deirdre McFarland, vice president of marketing for Scarborough, tells Marketing Daily. "I think that they have the money and they're just out there spending it on something important to them."
Super Greenies have a broad range of tastes. They're 151% more likely to listen to the Variety radio format and 69% more likely to watch documentaries on television.
They're liberal. Forty-two percent of Super Greenies identify themselves as Democrats, 20% say they're independent (but feel closer to Democrats) and 9% are Republicans. They're three times as likely as the average adult to contribute to political causes. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of these Super Greenies gravitate to the Pacific Northwest -- particularly to San Francisco, where 17% of the population engages in 10 or more eco-friendly activities on a regular basis. Seattle comes in second, with 13% of the population meeting those requirements and Portland, Ore., and San Diego tie for third with 11%.
"As the campaigns are ramping up, this is an area of consumer interest [that may be valuable] for fundraising," McFarland says. But the interest shouldn't stop there, she says. Marketers looking to capture this demographic may want to have an environmental bent to their messaging. "It's something they could use to attract [these consumers] to their brand."