Green or environmentally sensitive Tech products and practices are emerging as a new element of Tech brand positioning and consumer consideration, according to a survey by Ipsos.
When consumers were asked to rate the importance of each of six green practices in influencing their Tech purchase preferences, over half (57%) rated the presence of the Energy Star label as influential. Following closely behind in purchase influence were manufacturer commitment to discarding older Tech products in an environmentally friendly manner (48%), and meeting EPA standards for these product disposals (45%). At least one-third of the respondents rated each of the other three factors as influential as well, including green energy inputs to production, manufacturing that incorporates recycled components, and contributions to environmental causes.
In the survey’s other main finding, respondents were presented with a list of leading tech brands and asked which (if any) they would associate with having green or environmentally friendly business practices. The first tier were all brands -? Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Apple -? that consumers encounter regularly, either in their personal lives, at work, or in the news. A second tier included venerable Tech brands reflecting very different fortunes in recent years -? Kodak, Sony, Gateway, IBM, and Motorola, according to Ipsos.
Fifty-five percent of respondents perceived no brands as green.
“These results, along with other data we see, convince me that at least for American consumers this is emerging as a key issue -? probably not a universal factor any time soon, but important enough to enough Americans to matter to Tech firms,” says Todd Board, SVP of Ipsos Insight’s Media, Entertainment & Technology practice. “The interesting paradox for the market leaders, or those who would be, is that this may rapidly become a table-stakes expectation for many consumers -? ‘?of course, I expect prominent brand X to care about the environment and act accordingly.’ However, while this is emerging as a cost-of-entry issue, it isn’t clear that any one Tech firm can carve out sustainable differentiation around green behaviors and positioning. Our data suggest a bit more skepticism about Tech brand commitments to green issues among younger Americans than among those age 55-plus.”
Just yesterday, Reuters reported that manufacturers at IFA, Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, tried to entice consumers with environmentally-friendly product details but consumers were more interested in bigger and brighter screens.
The list makes an interesting companion to Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranked companies in the following order: Nokia, Dell, Lenovo, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, Toshiba, Fujitsu-Siemens, Acer, Apple, HP, Panasonic, LGE, Sony.