So you want to market green tech services—and that means finding “green” consumers. So who are they?
One could argue that they are us all. After all, Accenture’s end-consumer survey on Climate Change 2007 said that 81 percent of citizens in the United States believe climate change will impact their lives. That number may have changed since, but the move toward energy efficiency and the conclusion that we must do something about climate change has only grown stronger.
There are many different shades of green—and of green consumers. “Some [green consumers] are radical and progressive when it comes to the environment and society, while others are more interested in personal health, wellness, and a toxic-free home,” writes Jonathan Estes in Smart Green: How to Implement Sustainable Business Practices in Any Industry—and Make Money (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
Estes notes some common conclusions about basic traits of the green consumer, from BSDglobal.com:
- Green consumers are sincere in their intentions.
- They judge their personal actions to be environmentally inadequate.
- They don’t consider companies to be perfect, but should take the steps to improve.
- They may overstate how green they really are.
- They don’t want a quick fix but are generally unwilling to make huge sacrifices.
- They distrust company claims unless verified by a third party.
- They lack basic knowledge about green issues but are willing to learn.
- Most responsive are young adults and least responsive are those born before 1950.
So what are green consumers looking for? They are looking for companies to educate them,” says Amy Hall, director of social consciousness for women’s clothing company Eileen Fisher.
That is a huge opportunity for companies selling green and green technology services. You can educate your potential clients on energy efficiency, safer products that don’t use toxins in their construction, and don’t forget healthy home technologies that filter and purify air, for example.
Consumer sustainability actions are largely health related, not from a desire to protect the environment, says Laurie Demeritt, president and COO of the Hartman Group, a sustainability marketing research group.