During the past decade, environmental concern has gone from being more than just a trendy topic, to being a priority among consumers and the media. In fact, the products that most consumers buy nowadays are green products, or environment friendly products. The media has advertised ways to protect the environment, through products that aren’t harmful to its already degrading state. There has been a change in attitude among customers geard towards being concerned about the environment, and so companies will adjust to this shift. This is the summary of a research by Nea Lindqvist. You can get the pdf of the behavioral targeting research here: Green Segmentation
This study is focused on a group of students from Arcada polytechnic, and their green behavior responses to several segmentation factors. The main question is: Why do, or why don’t, these students purchase green products, and what are their characteristics? Geographic, psychographic, and demographic factors are considered in coming up with the consumer segments that relate to green products.
Aside from the experimental phase of this study, a literature research was also done to determine if there are existing theories and results from other researches that can relate to the gist of this study. This literature research involves searching through various articles and research papers from the Helsinki School of Economics and Arcada polytechnic library.
A lot of research has been done to determine the characteristics of a green consumer. For example, using the words of Ken Peattie, green consumption is the purchasing and non-purchasing decisions. If you practice green consumption, you avoid the following: Harming others or oneself, dispose or use products during production, or use large amounts of resources, that endanger the environment, cause waste that is unnecessary, or have unnecessary product features, use endangered species as product materials, or exploit and be cruel to animals, and harm developing countries.
A common characteristic among consumers is that they are inconsistent. Sometimes they practice green consumption, sometimes they don’t. The decision varies depending on the consumer’s innate behavior, the product profile, accessibility and quality, and what makes that product green. Another characteristic is that consumers are confused, such that they don’t really know how to differentiate between a normal and a green product.
Female consumers are also more greener than male consumers, and consumers with children are greener, although results from different researches vary. More consumers are educated about green products, and consumers that have a higher income tend to be greener. Furthermore, the younger generation of consumers are also greener than their older counterparts, however the lifecycle stage in which that consumer is in is a more important factor (i.e. some people start having a family at an earlier age).
The research was done in survey type composed of 13 questions. Descriptive statistic analysis will be used to analyze the data in presentations between three types: behavioral, psychographic and demographic segmentation factors. 50 students (24 women and 26 men), mostly business and tourism degree students from Arcada are surveyed. The following are determined: first, the level of environmental concern among students, how often they purchase green products, how often they recycle.
For demographic segmentation, the difference between women and men is determined, between how often green products are purchased, their concern with the environment, and how often they recycle. With psychographic segmentation, the following are queried. First, how the students of Arcada find the well being of others as important. For product usage segmentation, the question asked is, why do the students purchase green products.
Results show that to determine green customer characteristics, the segmentation methods mentioned are not effective. Students that exhibit altruism are more than likely to be green consumers. Students that recycle also have the potential to become green consumers. Still, the researches acknowledge the limitations, including the small sample size, and there is no clear definition of what green products are, and may vary between consumers and their different perceptions to what green products are.