Green Brand Survey 2011

Here’s an interesting survey from Landor Associates.  Landor is a consulting company with particular expertise in Branding, especially consumer attitudes about the environment.  The company’s come a long way in a few short years.  Since 2006, it’s expanded its survey from 500 U.S. respondents to 9,000 across eight countries.

June’11’s survey is interesting for these reasons:
  • It’s based on a transversal study comparing several countries, so different consumer attitudes and cultures can be assessed.
  • it demonstrates key differences amongst consumers in developing versus developed countries
  • these differences are not what one might expect (read on!)
What Landor’s survey is not….
  • It is not a survey of company’s rankings on Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) efforts.  However…

Attributes of the 2011 U.S. Rankings:

  • Nearly all of the companies on this list are in fact on several SRI lists
  • Private companies are included
  • Small companies are also listed
  • Four are “born green” establishments (i.e, Seventh Generation)
Source:  Landor Associates, 2011

 Biggest Surprises:
  • Consumers, especially in Australia and in the States, believe that the Energy industry does the best job of protecting the environment.
  • Hmm, strange.  Remember, this is not a survey of corporate CSR.  What I can tell you is that the large Energy multinationals are great at advertising their green efforts.   Could this be propaganda?  maybe…
  • In other countries, including Germany, India and China, the Technology sector was cited as being the biggest protector of the environment.
  • In Developed (aka Rich) countries, the greatest hurdle to purchasing green was price.  Hmm…perhaps this is related to the weak European and U.S. economies…
 Biggest “no kidding” finding:
  • Brands that people can “touch & feel” are the ones that were most represented in Landor’s Top 10 list.
  • This makes sense because such products are seen everyday by consumers shopping for personal care items, groceries, household cleaners, etc.

Does the Economy affect the Green Consumer?

  • Yes, a weak economy, or even perception thereof, does affect consumer behavior.
  • Sadly, the U.S. consumer is hurting and is now considering Value of vital importance purchase decisions.
  • Note that recent consumer confidence numbers are outright terrible.  The Financial Crises is long over, however, consumer confidence is at the lowest point since the recession and low point of the U.S. stock market (March 2009).
    • In fact, an evolution of U.S. data shows that while consumers are willing to spend more on green products, fewer respondents have felt this way versus previous years’ surveys.

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