The green movement, coupled with the current recession, are considered by many observers of consumer behavior to mark a permanent, significant shift in how and why we buy and use products. Have we realigned our values to reflect new priorities that promotes the greater good over our personal well being? Sounds good, but we may not be there yet!
According to a study by Communispace Corporation, consumer motives for green behavior are driven more by status and frugality than altruism. For some people, their efforts to recycle become a badge of honor, something they can talk about in conversations to score points among their friends. For other people, green efforts may be more about saving money (e.g., reusing sandwich bags, drying paper towels and reusing).
Do the results of the Communispace study mean that we should look down on those people who are engaging in green behaviors for non-altruistic reasons? Not at all! These candid insights open possibilities for involving more consumers in the green movement. Just as we buy cars, shoes, and everything else we consume for a variety of reasons, encouraging green consumption should take a multi-pronged approach. It is not all about making a difference; many people find it difficult to believe their efforts alone can make a difference. So what do they do? Nothing. Green marketing campaigns should consider how to appeal to different values consumers hold beyond saving the world. If the bottom line is getting more people to engage in more environmentally responsible consumption, it should not matter that multiple routes are used to get to the destination.
Media Post Marketing Green – “Frugality and Social Status Trump Altruism”