Daily Insights

Green Consumers Point to the Future for Brand Marketing

By: Rebecca Kolls | Nov 04, 2019

The 100-year old Dutch airline KLM recently made a strange request: fly responsibly. Or really, fly less. It’s no secret that airlines depend on fossil fuels to move millions of people and tons of aircraft. KLM can’t fly without them today, so customers who want to make a difference have few choices but to limit air travel. People have known that for years. KLM’s new willingness to say it reflects a larger sea-change in consumer attitudes about the environment.

Concerns about global warming are becoming mainstream in the US. For 37% of consumers, those beliefs are now a key factor that influences buying decisions. “Green-driven” consumers are more than two-and-a-half times as likely as the general population to buy products from companies committed to having positive social or environmental impact, or to check product labels to assess a product’s environmental impact.

Green-driven consumers don’t fall within any specific demographic group. Though they skew female and tend to be more liberal, they span generations, income levels, and ethnic groups. Their distinction lies in their selflessness. Green-driven customers care about safeguarding the future for all of human society and are willing to pay more if it will secure benefits for others.

As environmental concerns become more mainstream, green-driven consumer behaviors can be seen as a bellwether—they signal the future priorities for everyone. Companies with genuine environmental aspirations should engage with them and share their green goals, communicate wins, and admit to failures. Green-driven consumers will reward you with purchases.