CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite unwavering focus by the media, government and business, "going green" is only of moderate concern to most consumers, according to Yankelovich research. Yankelovich's survey of 2,763 consumers and their environmental attitudes, GOING Green, released today, found that only one-third (34%) of consumers feel much more concerned about environmental issues today than a year ago. And less than one-quarter (22%) of consumers feel they can make a difference when it comes to the environment. GOING Green, conducted in collaboration with Getty Images, is the first study of its kind to examine how much consumers truly care about green issues. "Consumers are not drinking the Kool-Aid when it comes to green," said J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich. "While they're highly aware of environmental issues due to the glut of media attention, the simple fact is that 'going green' in their everyday life is simply not a big concern or a high priority." Take Al Gore's book, An Inconvenient Truth. Even though it received widespread acclaim from media and scientists alike, 82% of consumers neither saw the film nor read it. In addition, Mr. Smith asserts that consumers are far more knowledgeable about green than they're generally given credit for. For example, Al Gore's "10 Myths" in An Inconvenient Truth are not considered myths by consumers at all. According to the GOING Green Survey: only 7% of consumers believe Gore's "Myth" that it's already too late to do something about climate change; only 4% believe global warming is a good thing, and only 8% agree that the warming that scientists are recording is just the effect of cities trapping heat rather than anything to do with greenhouse gases. Despite most consumers' lukewarm attitudes about "going green," Smith says that companies can -- and should -- exploit the "green-ness" of their products. Why? First, while the environment is not a mainstream consumer concern, it does represent a niche opportunity in the marketplace, with just over 30 million Americans (13% of the 234 million people 16+) "strongly concerned" about it. Second -- and equally important -- if organizations are required to meet strict federal and state environmental regulations -- often at huge expense -- it makes sense to try and leverage the 'new and improved' green product to consumers. The good news for companies is that while the majority of consumers' attitudes towards the environment may be only of moderate concern, it is possible to change consumers' behavior so that the green attributes of a product become a key feature in the buying decision. "Where companies are currently falling short with their green marketing strategy is that they're failing to establish a personal connection with the consumer, in other words, consumers currently have no knowledge of what green means or has to offer to them," added Smith. The Yankelovich Marketing Action Framework below illustrates the degree to which all consumers -- from "Green- less" to "Green-Enthusiasts" -- are currently likely to buy a product based on its green features. Green- Green- Green- Green- Green- less bits steps speaks thusiasts 29% 19% 25% 15% 13% Lowest Behaviors Moderate Behaviors Highest Attitudes Higher Than Attitudes Lower Attitudes & Lowest Lower & Moderate Than High & Highest Behaviors Attitudes Behaviors Attitudes Behaviors .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... Unmoved by Don't care Aware, Talk the talk Environment environmental but doing a concerned, more than is a issues & few things taking steps walk the walk passionate alarms concern "To make a green marketing strategy successful, organizations must employ behavioral tactics that move consumers up the continuum to greater levels of 'green-ness,'" said Smith. "Marketers who focus on these segments in isolation will not change consumers' green behavior." About the Study Yankelovich's GOING Green Perspective surveyed 2,763 nationally represented consumers aged 16+. The data collection phase of this study ran from April 25 through May 7, 2007. References to "Americans," "consumers" or "people" throughout this report refer to the total population of consumers aged 16+ unless otherwise noted. About Yankelovich, Inc. Yankelovich delivers measurable breakthroughs in marketing productivity for its clients. For more than 30 years, The Yankelovich MONITOR(R) has tracked and forecasted consumer value and lifestyle trends. Our Insights Integration(sm) solutions directly link our key research findings on why people buy to databases of customers and prospects. The Segmentation Company (TSC) is a full-service custom research and consulting firm that helps clients precisely target their customers through segmentation and brand equity and positioning work. Yankelovich and TSC are headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC.
SOURCE Yankelovich, Inc.