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Consumers Are Into ‘Greenness,’ But Some Have Their Doubts

 Advertising and product claims of “greenness” are being met with some doubt by even those listeners who practice social conservation.

Respondents to a recent survey revealed that although a vast majority (89.4%) incorporate some level of greenness into their daily lives, a significant number showed an undercurrent of doubt regarding green advertising claims and product efficacy.

The online survey of U.S. consumer perceptions of green marketing was conducted in March 2011 by Burst Media among more than 6,800 respondents aged 18 and older.

While somewhat negative overall, the survey found the following:

  • A slight majority (54.1%) of respondents saying green products are priced too high,
  • Seven in 10 (68.6%) say they are either very or somewhat likely to purchase a product advertised or promoted as being green or environmentally friendly.

Skepticism is most noted however when consumers were asked their opinion of the effectiveness of green products as compared with their conventional counterparts.

  • Only one-fifth (19.3%) of all respondents think green products work better than their conventional counterparts, and
  • Two in five (39.0%) think they work the same. One-quarter (24.4%) aren’t sure, and 11.3% think green products work worse.

Consumer uncertainty also exists when evaluating the green claims made in advertising.

  • A majority (59.6%) of respondents believes green claims made in advertising to some extent, a sizable minority (23.7%) either never believe or find green claims to be confusing or misleading.

Only 16.0% say they’re either very or somewhat unlikely to purchase a product promoted as being green, and 7.3% say they’re not at all likely to purchase such products. Women are more likely than men to say they would purchase a product advertised or promoted as being green; 74.1% compared with 62.8%, respectively.

Respondents cite many reasons for incorporating some level of greenness into their daily lives the clear leader is that being green is “good for the environment” (60.5%).

Other reasons cited for pursuing green values include:

  • To affect the future (46.6%); to live a better quality of life (43.6%);
  • it’s good for the community (42.2%);
  • A desire for a healthier body (38.9%);
  • A desire to live simply and
  • Use less (37.2%); and a desire to make a difference (36.9%).

To help live greener lives, respondents say the Internet is their top resource (34.0%) for gathering information on green initiatives and products. The Internet is clearly the leading media resource for green information for respondents under the age of 55 years.

However among the over-55 years demographic, print media take the top spot (29.2%) followed closely by the Internet (25.0%) and television (24.4%).

The green topics most commonly sought online are: healthful recipes (40.9%), recycling (33.6%), simple living (29.0%) and natural remedies (28.8%).

For both men and women, healthful recipes and recycling are among the top four green information areas sought—however, below these two topics a different story emerges.

Women search for more lifestyle-focused information such as natural remedies (36.2%) and simple living (33.2%), while men seek out more technical information, including green technologies (28.5%) and alternative energy (27.7%).

“To best connect with audiences and move them towards action, advertisers should first understand the green-messaging cues that resonate with their target,” said Mark Kaefer, marketing director at Burst Media. “By marrying the right messaging with the full range of rich media and video units available on the Web, an advertiser can promote creative interactivity and social interaction, and encourage respondents to learn as much as they can about green product offerings.”

An online media and technology company, Burst Media partners with long-tail (essentially, employing keyword phrases) publishers to build their businesses and make the most of the quality niche content they produce. Visit or call 781-852-5200 for more information.

© 2018, Information Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 315, Ridgefield, NJ 07657