81 per cent Indians likely to increase spends on 'green' products: study

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | June 18, 2010
The 2010 ImagePower Green Brands survey indicates that concern about the environment has grown and consumers prefer to support environmentally responsible companies

The results of the 2010 ImagePower Green Brands survey, conducted across 9,000 people in eight countries including the US, the UK, France, Denmark, Australia, China, India and Brazil to understand consumer perceptions of green products, brands and companies, is out.

& #BANNER1 & #The research, conducted by WPP agencies Landor Associates, Cohn & Wolfe and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB), as well as independent strategy consulting firm Esty Environmental Partners, also identifies some critical trends on which consumers are in global agreement.

The results of the survey indicate that while many environmental beliefs and behaviours are shared across different consumer cultures, others vary widely.

While economic concerns predominate in most countries, consumers in India and Brazil are more concerned about the environment. Consumers in Brazil, India and China are particularly inclined to seek green products and to favour companies they consider green. The key finding that arose from the study is that concern about the environment has grown over the last year. The study also reveals that consumers feel that companies need to understand and tailor strategies to address local environmental concerns.

While consumers from all eight countries believe that green products cost more than comparable non-green products, the five developed countries find cost to be the biggest challenge in buying green. However, consumers in the developing economies of China, India and Brazil find selection and labelling a bigger challenge. Consumers indicate a need for certification marks to evaluate 'greenness' and want governments to mandate label clarity on ingredients, materials, origin and waste management.

With respect to buying brands, it was found that a large majority of Indian consumers find it important to buy from green companies and more than 80 per cent plan to increase their spending on green products next year. As far as buying green products is concerned, a vast majority felt that there was a greater need for variety in the green brands space and that green products are difficult to find. Consumers expect green companies to engage in a broad set of actions, including reducing toxics, recycling and offering green products.

Globally, the two biggest influencers for purchasing green products are past experiences and certifications. Most consumers trust green advertising, especially in developing economies - and the French and Germans are more sceptical. Advertising helps consumers make more informed decisions and understand product benefits, in this case.

Lulu Raghavan, country director, Landor India, remarks, "It is heartening that Indian consumers are so keen to support environmentally responsible companies and buy green brands. They want environmentally sensitive products that are easily available, identifiable as green and budget friendly."

She adds that Indian companies should seize this opportunity to strengthen their corporate reputations by developing and delivering innovative products and services to the market - something that calls for wholehearted championing and commitment to the environmental imperative.

For the record, the ImagePower Green Brands study was conducted online among the general adult population. In China, India and Brazil, respondents were from Tier I cities.