A peer set of small (4%) but powerful group of consumers, or “Greenfluencers,” are driving trends and shaping purchasing decisions in the mass market, according to a study (PDF) of nearly 12,000 U.S. adults conducted by Porter Novelli.
Unlike their counterparts in earlier environmental movements, Greenfluencers are not third-party experts or full-time advocates with a laser-like focus on advancing a specific agenda. Rather, this new highly influential group, which amounts to roughly four percent of the U.S. population, is young, racially diverse and outspoken on a variety of social and political issues.
Based on seven different types of behaviors and product/service usage patterns, such as buying energy efficient appliances and punishing companies with poor environmental records by not buying their products, Porter Novelli developed a “Green Gauge” to categorize respondents into four levels of “greenness.”
Four levels of greenness were identified during the research. Just 16 percent of the population are “Non-Green” and do none of these activities; almost half qualify as “Light Green,” doing between one and four of the activities; more than a quarter (27%) quality as “Medium Green,” doing five or six of them; and just 7 percent do all seven activities and qualify as “Dark Green.”
Porter Novelli then narrowed down the respondents to find “Medium” and “Dark Green” environmentally-engaged people who are likely to be influential in changing the attitudes and behaviors of their peers with regard to the environment, the Greenfluencers.