year, the color palette thats in is one of soothing,
gentle tones that designers and consumers alike will find appealing.
Throughout the retail landscape, however, shoppers have made it
clear that their fondness for greenenvironmentally
friendly productswill not change with the latest styles. Americans
have grown increasingly concerned about environmental issues, and
many demonstrate this sensitivity in their market behavior.
* Environmental Fears
RoperASWs Green Gauge Report reveals that worries about pollution
have hit a new high, concerns about loss of open space from development
have escalated and an aversion to bio-engineered foods is on the
rise. A desire to preserve wildlife and natural resources is the
growing motivation for environmental protection.
But the top reason Americans cite for taking care of the environment
is to protect human health. Americans believe that pollution poses
serious threats to their well-being, and 78 percent feel that people
in this country are at increased risk for disease due to poor environmental
While half of all Americans admit that they still dont
get around to making the changes in my lifestyle I know I should,
many try to practice environmentally sound habits on a regular basis.
Sixty-five percent try to save electricity at home, 51 percent return
bottles or cans, 48 percent recycle newspapers, and 26 percent buy
products made from or packaged in recycled materials.
A GLOBAL CONCERN
to a Roper Reports 2002 Worldwide Study of teens and adults
in 30 countries, nearly four in 10 consumers globally say that
preserving the environment is very or extremely important as
a guiding principle in their lives. Nations where this value
is highest include Egypt (58 percent), Germany (58 percent),
Argentina (50 percent), Philippines (49 percent) and India (48
Additionally, one quarter of consumers
globally say that being in tune with nature is very
or extremely important as a personal value. This is particularly
significant in Egypt (41 percent), Argentina (40 percent), Venezuela
(40 percent), Philippines (39 percent), Taiwan (34 percent)
and Germany (34 percent).
The study also found environmental pollution is a major concern
on the worldwide agenda. For nearly a quarter of consumers (23
percent) in 31 countries, it is one of the top three issues
they are concerned about today. It is of particular national
concern in China, Korea, Japan, Italy and Hungary.
Not only is concern for the environment a universal social
issue, but 38 percent of consumers say it is very important
in their purchase decision-making that brands and companies
make efforts to address social causes such as environmental
protection, said Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice president with
Roper Reports Worldwide. The environment is most frequently
cited by global consumers as the issue they would like to see
The findings are based on surveys of 30,000 consumers (ages
13 to 65 in 30 countries) conducted in November and December
* Promoting Green
This mindset is an invitation to manufacturers and retailers to
gain favor with consumers by promoting their environmental responsibility
on labels, at retail and through new product development. It encourages
marketers to create displays and point-of-purchase elements that
highlight environmentally friendly wares, energy-efficient appliances
and green goods, in general.
Labels and displays can play an important role in making an environmental
statement about your brand. More than half of all Americans say
they have purchased a product because the advertising or label indicated
that it was environmentally safe or biodegradable; 27 percent say
product packaging is a major source of information about environmental
* Eco-Friendly Versus High Quality
Though shoppers purchases are motivated by environmental factors,
they are also reluctant to compromise on quality, convenience, reliability
or aesthetic appeal when it comes to environmentally safer products.
In fact, 41 percent of consumers say they dont buy green products
because they fear the eco-friendly versions wont be up to
par. Marketers can address these concerns by using in-store demonstrations,
by offering free samples or discounted trial sizes, or by making
knowledgeable salespeople available.
Americans dont always behave as green as they think they do.
Convenience remains one of the most powerful drivers of consumer
behavior in this country, so make it easy for consumers to recognize
green products and experience the product qualitythey will
both contribute to the success of your eco-marketing.
RoperASW is a full-service market research consultancy with offices
in the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information,
call 212-599-0700 or visit
www.roperasw.com. This article is reprinted with permission of Point
of Purchase magazine, © 2002, VNU Business Media, Inc.