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Over Half Of Consumers Factor Green Record Into Buying Decisions

Close to all American consumers (90%) believe that acting in an environmentally responsible way is important, but feel corporations hold most of the responsibility to implement change over their own personal efforts and are increasingly implementing eco-friendly evaluation into their product purchasing decisions, according to Green AMPlified, a national survey released by AMP Agency, an Alloy Media + Marketing company.

The survey went on to state that over half (53%) of consumers factor a company’s social and environmental activities into their purchasing decisions and while overall, consumer’s personal actions to protect the environment show minimal sacrifice in terms of changing one’s lifestyle, consumers are ready to reward those companies that prove their commitment to the cause. In fact, after learning a company is environmentally friendly, the study found that 57% are likely to trust the company, 60% are likely to purchase its products, and 58% are likely to recommend the company or its products to others.

Passing a consumer’s eco-test can garner a brand entry into a shopper’s mindset, but the study also found that just being green doesn’t mean green at the cash register.

When it comes to purchasing green products over traditional ones, consumers put high demand on marketers with cost acting as the primary factor. When asked how much more (if any) consumers were willing to spend on green products, the results are significant, with over 75% of consumers stating that they were not willing to spend more than 10% to purchase a green product over a traditional choice in almost all of the categories offered.

Product performance also factors into purchase decisions and most consumers are not giving green products a break. In fact, for consumers who consider performance important, it makes all the difference. In all product categories discussed, almost all consumers (90%) stated that a green product must work just as well as or better than a traditional product in order to make the switch.

And while consumers do want to make a difference, they also want it to be convenient. Whether it’s the need to conserve as prices at the pump inflate or just ease, 63% are not willing to go more than 10 minutes to act green.

Overall, consumers are expressing they don’t expect companies to be perfect, but they need to know that they care as much as they do and are making efforts to improve the state of the world – and can show it.

So, where are consumers getting their cues? At the top, 40% of consumers stated that they learned that a company is environmentally friendly because of its packaging. However, 44% stated that they sometimes, but not often, believe the environmentally friendly claims on product packages. Based on follow up interviews, consumers shared their reasons for feeling skeptical of a company’s environmental claims, stating they think they are often unverifiable, overly generalized, or contradictory to other behaviors of the company.

The study found that 40% of consumers are likely to speak out against a company when they learn they are not environmentally friendly. Conversely, earn their trust and they are more likely to spread that positive message to a wide network of family and peers. Close to half (49%) report that family and friends are the #1 trusted source when it comes to purchasing decisions, falling significantly higher than other methods reported such as advertising (31%) and twice as influential as product packaging (26%).

Green AMPlified presents the findings of an online survey conducted among a national probability sample of 3,200 respondents of men and women between the ages of 18 and 49. The survey was designed to capture the opinions, beliefs, and perceptions of individuals in terms of their relationship with the Green Movement. This survey was completed during the period of April 17, 2008, and April 25, 2008, and was followed up with in-depth qualitative research, including shopping logs and respondent videos. The margin of error for a sample size of 3,200 is +/-1.73 percentage points, based on the principles of probability sampling theory. This survey follows industry best practices but, like all online surveys, does not strictly adhere to pure probability sampling methods.

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