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NEW YORK -- Despite the rising popularity of eco-friendly products and practices among mainstream consumers, a study conducted among 510 male and female consumers age 18 and over by branding firm Landor Associates here, showed that 58 percent of the general population polled considers itself "Not Green Interested."
Those who designated themselves as such said they don't care about environmentally friendly practices, including recycling, corporate social responsibility, and natural and/or organic ingredients.
The study also found that 25 percent of the respondents think of themselves as "Green Interested," meaning that while this group cares about the environment, it is not active in its defense. The remaining 17 percent polled identified themselves as "Green Motivated," meaning that they feel it's very important for a company to employ green practices. So-called Green Motivated consumers will buy items from companies that work to protect the environment through their packaging, ingredients, and corporate actions.
"While we are still building awareness for Green issues among consumers, Green has moved well beyond the niche it was only a few years back," noted Landor's managing director Allen Adamson. "From a branding perspective, a Green product or service is most effective when it's built simply and holistically."
Landor's study further uncovered that while two out of three consumers can't identify a Green brand, there's a divide between perception and reality for consumers as to what constitutes being a Green company. Consumers believe that a Green brand uses environmentally friendly technology and natural and organic ingredients in its products, but don't consider brands that place emphasis on supporting environmentally responsible organizations or donate money to environmental causes as Green.
According to the survey, Whole Foods is the brand thought of as the "Greenest of the Green" among consumers. Other brands that rated highly were fast food chain Subway, which places a strong emphasis on healthy and natural ingredients, and Origins, The Body Shop, and Kiehls's, which all sport green logos and/or natural packaging.