Going Green Globally
Are customers in less developed countries more interested in green consumables than Americans?
Based on ImagePower Global Green Brands Survey, there is a leveling off of American consumers' intentions to spend more on green products over the next year. Other countries such a China, Brazil and India are seeing a trend towards more spending on green products. Over 65% Chinese consumers plan to spend money on green products while 56% Brazilian consumers and 64% of Indian consumers will purchase green products this year. The survey also goes on to detail that these countries consumers are willing to spend more if needed on green products. As many as 95% of Chinese consumers will spend more on green products because they are eco-friendly.
Why are these consumers so committed to the green cause?
Specific environmental concerns in all these countries have made environment consciousness a major concern for their consumers. For example, in Brazil deforestation is the No. 1 environmental issue and in India where air pollution is visible, 61% of their consumers say the environment of their country is on the wrong track. In both countries the condition of their environment is the highest level of concern. These are concerns that other world consumers don't generally share because they don't see the air pollution or deforestation on a daily basis. Consumers in the developing world are more conscious because they are having personal experiences with the negative effects that consumer products are having on their environment.
This should be how marketers tactically address their marketing and positioning. It's also important for marketers to think more globally and strategically. Consumers are savvy and getting involved personally in the cause that closely effects their lives. These consumers in many cases have had negative effects of consumption that disregards the environment. This means that these consumers are more predisposed to products that offer an eco-friendly alternative. They demand products that not only say they are eco-friendly but come through on those claims. Greenwashing has consumers avoiding them because the environmental issues are such a problem that brands need to be aware that if the claim doesn't live up to an eco-friendly green goods it will most likely be left unpurchased. Companies need to tell the truth and produce products and services that live up to their claims. It's also important to not only be green but communicate you are green. Talk to consumers about how you are making a difference with the products you are delivering and how you plan to continue to assure your company's positive carbon footprint now and in the future. Involve your company in ways to give back to the efforts of improving the environment and any clean up efforts. And then taut your achievements so consumers can see how your company is contributing back.
Marketers in the US need to pay close attention to these environmental concerns in order to make a sustainability message successful. There is certainly no size fits all and each country has its own issues that consumers are most concerned with. And with the rise of those countries middle class the novelty of green products is important to them and they are willing to spend their money for them. Look at India for example, their current middle class population is larger than the US's entire population. The companies who differentiate their products and offer eco-friendly products to these consumers will own that growing consumer market.