Gwynne Rogers's Blog

Do You Know What Hispanics Want from Sustainable Products? You should.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 by

Hispanic sustainability We all know that the Hispanic population in the US is growing, and that they are changing every market they touch – from politics to grocery to banking – and everything in between.  But, have you considered how this growing demographic affects the LOHAS market, and your brand?

According to NMI’s most recent LOHAS Consumer Trends Database®, Hispanics* share a number of green-minded attitudes and behaviors.  For instance, they are more likely to be active in a number of areas:

  • Consumer Packaged Goods: More likely to report using natural products, such as natural home care products and natural personal care products
  • Energy:  More likely to state willingness to pay for renewable power, currently use renewable power, and to own an energy meter
  • Habits: More likely to take reusable bags to the grocery store, remind others to be environmentally-friendly, and contact their politicians regarding environmental issues

Aside from their above-average engagement, it is notable that these attitudes and behaviors span the gamut of sustainability – a range of product categories and behaviors spike for them.  In other words, they aren’t cherry-picking their involvement, it is more broad-based. 

There are implications for both Hispanic-focused and “green” brands.  Brands targeting Hispanics should be addressing their target consumers’ sustainable interests.  For instance, Dove has worked hard at attracting Latinas.  Unilever also has a very strong sustainability platform.  However, the two efforts seem to work independently, rather than synergistically. 

The flip-side is that “green” brands should ensure their marketing communications resonate with Hispanics.  Expect to tailor your communications to this audience in both copy and creative (not just drop your existing ads in Hispanic media outlets), but if executed well, this demographic could significantly expand your brand’s reach.

Both the Hispanic and sustainability markets are changing rapidly, and this appears to be an opportunistic time to understand how these two cultural forces interact.  NMI will be further exploring this market in collaboration with The Shelton Group in a joint study later this year.  For more information, please contact Gwynne.Villota@nmisolutions.com.

 

*English-speaking Hispanics only

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by

While it seems like every time we turn around there is a new green something-or-other on the market – which would make us think these are moving in a more sustainable direction – consumers’ perceptions of eco-friendly products are actually moving in the wrong direction.  NMI’s annual LOHAS Consumer Trends Database® (LCTD) keeps a pulse of how consumer sentiment and behavior change on a yearly basis.  One noticeable trend from the 2012 LCTD is that negative perceptions of environmentally-friendly products is keeping an increasing number of consumers out of the market, even while more people know about them, and know where to buy them.

% U.S. general population adults indicating which of the following prevents them from using environmentally-friendly products/services

 

Consumers always complain about price, regardless of product or industry.  But, with specific regard to environmentally-friendly products, consumers are increasingly price sensitive, particularly since 2008 (shown above and in other NMI data).  In fact, cost as a barrier to buying environmentally-friendly products is up 14% annually since 2005. 

These data show that we are past the point of being able to charge more for green products!  We have to make the value and benefits clear to consumers – saving the planet is not reason enough to charge more.  In addition, consumers perceive that environmentally-friendly products do not work as well as consumers’ regular products.  So, in effect, consumers feel like they’re being asked to pay more for a product that underperforms. 

While consumers feel more knowledgeable about environmentally-friendly products (no small achievement), demonstrating the value – through a three-pronged approach of continuing to drive cost down, improving quality, and communicating other benefits such as safe around kids and pets – must happen for the green marketplace to continue to grow. 

 

For more insights like these, visit www.nmisolutions.com.  NMI is an international strategic marketing consultancy specializing in health, wellness and sustainability since 1990 with full service consulting and market research services.