Here’s the good news, capturing the perspective of over 9,000 consumers across 8 countries, the 2011 ImagePower® Green Brands Survey reveals that an increasing number of consumers have a desire for going green and are willing to pay relatively more to buy a green product.
However, with transparency and choice being the key decision maker for consumers there is a lot more expected from the policy makers and organisations in pushing green products ahead in the supply chain. Here are some of the top lessons from the annual ImagePower® Green Brands Study:
Going green: Indian Consumers want more
Indian consumers do care. The annual ImagePower® Green Brands Study shows a heartening trend among consumers in India, China and Brazil towards choosing green products. The green brands survey, which is amongst the largest surveys on consumer perceptions of green brands and corporate environmental responsibility shows that 64% of Indian consumers plan to spend more on green products in the next year. More importantly, nearly 48 % of Indian consumers and 55% of Chinese consumers said they were willing to spend over 10% more on a product simply because it is green. The survey showed that 28% of Indian consumers in the survey expressed the intent to purchase green automobiles in the next year, as against the 16% that purchased green automobiles in the previous year.
Green Brands India: What consumers are looking for and what brands must do to tap into `green' consumers
While consumers show a clear inclination towards green products, the challenge for companies is not just in creating greener products but following a marketing strategy that showcases their green side. The green brands survey shows that packaging and publicity both figure high on the consumer mind as important parameters for choosing green products.
Absence of proper labelling was seen as one of the critical reasons for people not choosing green products. Nearly 56 % of consumers in China and 33 % in India felt the green labelling or product information was confusing, which impacted their decision. Along with going green with their products, companies need to improve packaging and labelling by including information such as ingredients & origin, food testing and safety as well as environmental impact. Expanding the distribution to increase the accessibility of green products in shopping venues is another important step.
Price is yet another important consideration for consumers wanting to buy green products. Their lower accessibility and higher prices make consumers see green as a luxury purchase rather than a sensible and sustainable one. This is further accentuated by the inability of consumers to gauge the actual value of the product due to the absence of proper labelling that inform them about its green qualities and benefits.
Advertise your green power
The 2011 ImagePower® Green Brands Survey shows that as far as Indian consumers go, nearly 57% would be influenced by TV advertisements to buy green. The green survey shows that consumers in emerging countries are more trusting of advertising compared to their counterparts in developed countries. Clearly, companies must leverage this opportunity to establish their green credentials through awareness and education.
Regulate green responsibility
Showing a similarity to the global trend, the green survey had 95% of Indian consumers wanting the government to support green innovation and regulation. With regard to household goods, consumers want the government to mandate producer responsibility and greater label clarity. Currently, India does not have a consistent standard on packaging and labelling, which leaves consumers in the dark and unable to make informed decisions. The Indian consumers made a clear indication that they wanted the government to play the role of regulator and ensure the private sector provides consumers with clear and consistent information on their products.
The 2011 ImagePower® Green Brands Survey tells us that greenness remains a major issue for consumers around the world, and that they expect green practices from the companies they do business with. It is time then, that Indian companies got their green credentials right.
The consumer is watching. Think about it.
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Penn Schoen Berland is a global communication advisory that specializes in messaging and communication strategy for blue-chip corporate, entertainment and political clients.