Changing Environmental Views and Priorities of Consumers

With the Great Barrier Reef almost beyond repair, the world’s bee population in danger and a new American president that refuses to believe in climate change, it’s no wonder that consumers across the globe are increasingly looking for ways to contribute to a more environmentally friendly society. 

As environmental issues become more and more prevalent in our everyday lives, it is hard to ignore the responsibility to do what we can to improve the health of our environment. These days, being an environmentally conscious consumer goes far beyond recycling packages and reusing plastic water bottles, there is an “environmentally friendly” version of most products on the market from cars to make-up or cleaning products and almond milk. As consumers, the choice between the ‘normal’ version of a product or its eco-friendly alternative can have many influencing factors. A study named ‘Environmentally Conscious Consumer Behavior: An Empirical Study’ identified your personal environmental beliefs, environmental concerns, other environmentally friendly habits (e.g. turning lights off, recycling), knowledge about environmental issues and environmental attitude as factors that affect an individual’s eco-friendly purchase tendencies (Rajput, Bajaj & Batra 2012).

Consumers are not only conscious of the eco-friendliness of the products they are purchasing, consumers are assessing the companies producing them and whether they’re using environment-safe production processes and sustainable business practices (Marketing Eco, 2017).

Companies are continuously looking for new ways to stand out among competitors, and the inclusion of new ecological features including updated packaging design or alternative product materials/ingredients and philanthropic CSR elements to company policies including donations to charities or promises of sustainable production are examples of ways many well-known companies have updated their methods to include environmentally friendly practices.

Green marketing is the activities designed to generate and facilitate exchanges that satisfy humans’ needs or wants, and the needs and wants occurring with minimal negative impacts on the natural environment (Marketing Eye, 2017).

Many companies have used green marketing practices as a way to reach out to customers, change their views of the company, and increase sales.

BMW created a very successful green marketing advertisement that was premiered at the 2011 Superbowl in America. The ad communicated a relevant message and valuable information to the viewers about the environmental benefits and changes in diesel technology (Ecoprenurist, 2014).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2AdcX5dgE0 

International clothing company Diesel also created an influential green marketing campaign aimed at 18-25’s that revolved around the issues of global warming by showing popular tourist landscapes in the future that had been transformed by environmental disaster.

Ads like these are attempting to motivate consumers to consider the effects of the products they purchase on the environment. With reference to the Diesel Clothing campaign in particular, both consumers’ emotional and rational motives are being targeted in regards to the responsibility the feel to look after our earth. 

But is it always concerns for the ecological environment that motivate people to buy the eco-friendly product alternatives? Shoppers also buy green products as they believe it is a better option health-wise for their family, and also in the hopes that it will save them money (Suzanne Shelton, 2013). In an interview with Business Insider, Suzanne Shelton said “Saving the planet, for most people, it just sounds too enormous”, which basically sums up the reason most consumers would decide against purchasing the eco-friendly products. 

Research into consumers’ motivations for buying eco-friendly products is important for marketers working in this growing business sector, but whatever consumers’ reasons behind purchasing sustainably made products, it’s a win for society and our environment.

References: 

Rajput, N., Bajaj, P. and Batra, G. (2012). Environmentally Conscious Consumer Behavior: An Empirical Study. Research Journal of Commerce and Behavioura Science, [online] 02, pp.20-36. Available at: http://www.theinternationaljournal.org/ojs/index.php?journal=rjcbs&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=1372 [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Straughan, R. and Roberts, J. (1999). Environmental segmentation alternatives: a look at green consumer behavior in the new millennium. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 16(6), pp.558-575.

http://www.businessinsider.com/sc/why-people-buy-green-products-2013-11/?r=AU&IR=T

http://ecopreneurist.com/2011/10/26/top-10-green-marketing-campaigns/

http://www.marketingeye.com.au/marketing-company-services/what-is-green-marketing.html

http://marketingeco.com/eco-marketing-going-green-with-environmentally-friendly-business-practices/

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