Market researchers are all trying to classify consumers’ attitudes into various shades of green. And using different words to describe similar categories of green consumers. Where the Green Gauge Report sees consumers split between, True Blue Greens, Green Back Greens, Sprouts, Grousers, and Apathetics, the folks at PSB research propose instead a different segmentation in their Green Brands 2.0 Study:
- Bright Greens (34%), instead of True Blue Greens (30%)
The most skeptical and the most convinced that things are going in the wrong direction (a “bunker” mentality). Therefore they are the most likely to demand “green” steps on the part of companies – and at the same time the most likely to complain about these companies not taking green far enough.
These are, in the language of a political campaign, the key “swing” voters. They are younger and energized – the most likely to be speaking out, writing letters to the paper, etc., about global warming and government and corporate environmental responsibility. Because they feel things are going so badly, they raise the bar enormously high. Their touchstone is pure green, not shades of green. They look to Greenpeace and other environmental NGO’s for in-depth information about all green issues, including consumer products.
At the same time, however, the bright greens still need to buy groceries, household products, appliances, and cars. Within categories where there are greener choices, they will help anoint the best of breed. They are both your Opinion Leaders in the category and your most severe critics.
- Green Motivated (10%), instead of Green Back Greens (10%)
They want green, but are optimistic about the way things are going. They are likely to accept corporate “green” programs at face value and as a step in the right direction.
- Green Hypocrites (26%), instead of Sprouts (26%)
They like to talk about green, but don’t want to go out of their way – not even slightly out of their way for it. Slap a green smiley face on it and they’re on board.
- Green Ignorants (19%) and Dull Greens (11%), instead of Grousers (15%), and Apathetics (18%)
They are simply unengaged in the issue. Green isn’t particularly motivating, but it’s not a negative either.
Personally, I find this second classification more relevant to how I think as a consumer. More straightforward, and easier to grasp.