Sucharita Kodali, VP, Principal Analyst and Thomas Husson, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

Increased focus on the impact of climate change is changing some — but not all — consumers’ perceptions and attitudes toward environmental sustainability. In this episode of What It Means, Vice Presidents and Principal Analysts Sucharita Kodali and Thomas Husson discuss new research that defines four green buying segments and how they can be used to guide your marketing and product strategy.

The episode starts with a discussion of the drivers for segmenting your customer base according to their propensity to buy sustainable products. Husson says customer insights and marketing teams often lack this level of insight on customer buying behaviors and attitudes, so segmenting customers in this way provides much clearer marketing targets. For example, having clear segmentations can help avoid marketing sustainable products or services to customers who may have a negative reaction to such messaging.

After a review of how they came up with the four distinct buyer segments, the analysts then detailed each segment’s habits and attitudes. The segments include:

  • Non-Greens. These consumers primarily focus on cost and are least concerned about the impact of climate change on society. “They are not going to be making any type of trade-off for the environment,” says Kodali.
  • Dormant Greens. This segment of consumers is not actively looking for environmental information or sustainable products but can be persuaded. If the price is within their range, they may select an environmentally friendly product.
  • Convenient Greens. These consumers are environmentally conscious but value convenience over the environment in most cases. They’re busy and price-conscious (think parents of a young family).
  • Active Greens. These are the most environmentally conscious consumers and are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly items. They may scrutinize the supplier’s practices and consider the product’s impact on the environment.

From there, the discussion turns to how these types of segmentations can be put into use at an organization. Husson and Kodali provide some real-world examples of how brands such as L’Oréal and IKEA have put sustainability segmentation strategies into practice.

They also highlight a few of the counterintuitive data points that their research uncovered. For example, in Europe, Gen Z was found to be the least likely age group to recycle. “That’s why it really matters to dig into the details and not rely on intuition” and measure attitudes against actual buying behaviors, says Husson. Be sure to stick around until the end of the episode to hear Kodali provide her prediction on how these green buying segments will shift in the future.

To hear more from Husson about the green market revolution, be sure to catch his session at the upcoming CX EMEA event, May 10–11 in London and online.