Monday, September 1, 2008

Consumers in developing countries lead in climate awareness

Here is a report that merits attention:
Consumers in developing countries lead in climate awareness

In order to understand how the perception of global warming and climate change is affecting consumer behaviour, Havas Media has undertaken research to explore how, across a number of markets, this consumer perception of climate change is – and has the potential to – impact on business. Working in nine markets – US, UK, France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, China, India and Mexico – the research explores consumer perception at three levels – the phenomenon itself, with respect to key sectors and finally with respect to leading brands within those sectors.

One clear observation is that in countries with lower average income, awareness for climate change and its effects, as well as the willingness to act upon it, are far more greater then, for instance, in the USA and the UK. The number of so called eco-apathetics amounts to six times the numbers in Mexico or Brasil.


Some of the key messages, according to Havas:

1. Consumers are extremely engaged with the climate change issue – nearly 80% at a global level are what we call either Attentive or Absorbed. That’s a lot of people ready to listen and act.

2. And act they will. Our research shows that the two most likely actions undertaken
by consumers to combat the issue in the near future, are stopping buying environmentally damaging goods and buying more environmentally friendly goods.

3. Consumers are under no illusion that we can continue with ‘business as usual’. Within our Absorbed and Attentive groups, more than 3/4 recognise climate change will affect them and their families and that they will need to change the way they live in order to address the problem. More than 3/4 also believe they can actively contribute to solving the problem at a personal level. That’s a lot of people ready to do their bit.

4. This represents an incredible opportunity for brands to help consumers fulfil this aspirational role. And consumers are highly expectant. In 2/3 of the markets we researched, consumers felt large corporations had a responsibility to lead the charge in combating climate change.

5. When it comes to motivation to be a green consumer, we’ve identified Passive and Active Self-Seekers and Altruists. Understanding where their consumers sit within these groups, offers brands a vital insight into how best to open a dialogue with them on this issue.

6. It’s not just brands in traditionally damaging sectors that should be considering green communications. Through understanding the Ecolasticity™ of brand, we can see that potentially all brands can use green communications to their benefit. In fact, the hyper-Ecolastic™ brands may be where we least expect them to be.

7. When it comes to actually buying green, 80% of our respondents said they would buy more if more were on offer. 79% said they would rather buy from companies doing their best to reduce their impact on the environment. 89% people are likely to buy more green goods in the next 12 months and 35% are willing to pay a premium for those goods. Again, that is a significant group of people who are willing to accept a green premium.

8. In the last of our segmentation analyses, we have identified three types of consumer when it comes to buying green and paying a premium - Logicals, Accepting and Absolutes. Although driven by different motivations, more than 40% of Logicals and Absolutes are prepared to pay a premium for green goods. And Logicals and Absolutes make up more than 2/3 of our research.

9. Increasingly consumers are recognising the good guys and bad guys within
sectors. Which is great news for those brands that are pursuing and communicating
legitimate abatement strategies, as the sky becomes the limit. But it’s bad news for the slow or non-starters in the sector, as their ability to borrow credibility from their more proactive peers looks set to slip away.

10. All of the points above point unequivocally to the fact that a legitimate and well-executed green communication strategy represents a significant opportunity for arguably any brand looking to develop stronger and more meaningful relationships with its consumers.
More info at: http://www.havasmedia.com

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