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|
- 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 until recently (2012) consumer confidence numbers were outright terrible. The Financial Crises is long over, however, consumer confidence is coming-off its 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.