The Four Shades of Green Buyers

We interview Jobie Summer, MarketYourSustainableBusiness.com

Green building is hot.  It’s one of the few areas of residential construction that has maintained growth during the recession.  In fact, green products from just about any industry as doing fairly well compared to their non-green alternatives.

Jobie Summer consults with businesses on how to market and package green products.  Instead of focusing on the products, though, Jobie looks at the buyers and why they buy sustainable or energy efficient products.  What she’s found are not just a multitude of reasons, but four distinct buyer groups, each of which is looking at a green from a different perspective.

Listen to the audio interview to hear Jobie’s explanation of what green buyers care about and how it affects their buying behavior.  My notes are outlined below:

The 4 ‘Shades’ of Green Buyers:

1.  LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability)
•    Make decisions based on values- environment, health and societal issues
•    Highest influence over others and least price sensitive
•    Drive out of their way to buy organic; pay more for green
•    Drive trends since they push friends to try Green
•    Social responsibility in companies and proof are important
•    $290 billion industry

2. ‘Naturalites’
•    Driven by personal health and wellness – want healthy homes
o    Specify certain items, i.e. flooring, carpet, etc.
•    Look for progress, not perfection
o     Want to know why you do one thing but not another,
o     Value transparency
•    Want credible corporate responsibility – focus on environment
•    LOHAS and Naturalites comprise 34% of market and will spend 20% more

3.  Drifters

•    Move to LOHAS and Naturalites as compelled
•    Driven by trends but behaviors aren’t deeply rooted
•    More nomadic and price sensitive
•    Eco-concerned… IF it affects them personally
•    All about “me” – make it personal to get them to take action
•    Comprise 25% of adult consumers

4.  Conventionals
•    Very practical, municipal and environmental behaviors
•    Focus more on recycling, energy savings, wasting less rather than values and consciousness
•    They look for recycling symbol, LEED certified, etc…
•    Comprise 26% of adult buyers

To sell green, identify the buyers ‘shade’ and motivation for green, and use the language most appropriate for that person:
•    This can be based on Values, political affiliation, their Green group and more
•    Environment, Green and Sustainability are more progressive
•    Energy efficiency, Stewardship, Responsibility are more conservative

Learn more about marketing to green buyers at Market Your Sustainable Business.com.   There you’ll find 6 separate modules, including:

Module 1:  Consumer marketing & Behavior
Module 2:  Green Marketing Strategies
Module 3:  Referral Marketing for Green Business
Module 4:  PR & Social Media
Module 5:  Terminology and Message Development
Module 6:  Synthesizing for Success – Putting It All Together

Or, contact Jobie Summer directly at:  877-742-3847