Consumers are hopping on the green bandwagon. The 2007 ImagePower Green Brands Survey shows a shift in thinking. No longer is green marginalized to fanatical environmentalists, and nearly all Americans display green attitudes and behaviors according to the research. Especially appealing are green products that are relatively simple to implement like appliance upgrades.
Respondents said green brands are often seen as better quality, though at a higher cost.
The survey also categorized participants’ levels of involvement into shades of green, or green attitudes. The result of this segmentation is that all Americans exhibit some sort of green attitudes and behaviors.
Here is where I deviate from a rehashing of press releases about this research. I read more than one press release and am curious about some of the terminology applied to the categories of respondents, and why between May 1 and September 27, there has been an apparent shift in what to call these folks (if there hasn’t and I’m wrong, I’m sure some PR person will write and correct me). For example, in the most recent release, mention is made of five “green attitudes,” which range from “Bright Green” to “Dull Green,” with each category exhibiting certain characteristics. From the September 27, 2007, press release from public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, strategic brand and design firm Landor Associates, and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (Mark Penn is chief strategist to Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign):
Dull Green respondents, for example, who are characterized by making a minimum effort to support environmental change, prioritize crime reduction, religious organizations and healthcare as their main causes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the majority of Bright Green respondents, or those who are doing everything they can to make a long-term impact on their environment, care most about the environment, animal rights and education. One in five Dull Greens is satisfied with the current state of the environment, while, Bright Greens remain sad and skeptical about the future outlook and one in three even feel anger about the situation.
However, when I looked at a May 1, 2007, release from Landor Associates:
The difference in behaviors can best be seen at their extremes, by “Muted Green” and “Active Green” participants. Muted Greens are not convinced that the environment is in trouble and make the minimum effort to support environmental change, while Active Greens believe taking care of the environment is society’s responsibility and are doing everything they can to make a long-term impact on their environment.
What struck me in noting the shift, “Muted” to “Dull” and “Active” to “Bright” was that while “dull” may be accurate, it seems so negative.
“The value of examining the everyday lives and activities, as well as the emotions, of our green groups is that we can then adapt and refine the way in which we communicate with them to maximize relevant messages,” said Annie Longsworth, EVP and Managing Director of Cohn & Wolfe San Francisco. “What resonates with Bright Green people is very different from what rings true for Dull Greens, which presents some really exciting marketing challenges and opportunities.”
I suppose it’s no big deal, but it’s just an observation on my part. No one likes to be labeled “dull.” Even if they are.
Note: According to information on their Web site, Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates Inc. “conducted 803 interviews on the Internet among U.S. general population from Sept. 7-9, 2007. Respondents were screened to meet the following criteria: Age 18 or over. Gender, age, and region were weighted based on U.S. census information.
An earlier Internet survey was conducted with 1,504 U.S. interviewees between April 6 and April 8, 2007 and 1,525 interviews among the UK general population