Thursday, September 8, 2011
Problem is that people are funny - we say one thing and do another. We can tell a researcher that we have seen a brand and that we like it and even support it. But we will still buy something else. Why? One explanation is that there are too many other options around, and even if I like something, I might like other brands too - and they may be better, cheaper or more in my face. Another explanation is that we want to sound positive in the eyes of another person. We don´t want to hurt their feelings, so we say something we think they want to hear, and that will make us look like nicer people (nobody likes a grump). A third reason is that we might think we like something, even if we don´t. As a coach I constantly deal with that people say they want success, love or to win a race, but that their subconscious is sabotaging for them - they might think they don´t deserve it; their dream might be set by their parents and not themselves; they might think reaching a goal will leave them feeling empty.
People are funny, and true consumer insights goes beyond the numbers. I use quant data, but an insight is, as a friend planner at Akestam Holst in Sweden said "a fact based revelation". I like that expression. A fact based revelation. Or a "qualified guessing" as we said at my old agency in Stockholm (Prime PR). A consumer insight is always a "hunch", based on instincts. You can´t skip the research state, but the research is a base for the revelation, not the revelation in itself.
I came to think of this, when reading an article in the Nielsen Wire this morning, revealing that while the majority of consumers around the world (83%) say that it is important that companies implement programs to improve the environment, only 22 percent say they will pay more for an eco-friendly product. Interesting read:
Many consumers reported a personal preference for eco-friendly goods, but large percentages of respondents report setting aside this preference and buying whichever product is cheapest, including 48 percent in North America, 36 percent in Middle East/Africa, 35 percent in Europe, 33 percent in Asia Pacific, and 27 percent in Latin America.
Global consumers have mixed feelings about the environmental impact and benefits of particular sustainable practices. While 64 percent of consumers, globally, indicated they believe organic products are good for environment, there is wide regional disparity of opinion. Eighty percent of Latin Americans and 72 percent of Asia Pacific respondents think organic products are environmentally-friendly, but fewer people are convinced in Europe (58%), Middle East/Africa (57%), and North America (49%).
Among other environmental and sustainability efforts manufacturers have taken, recycled packaging and energy efficient products are seen as the most broadly helpful. Fully 83 percent believe that manufacturers using recycled packaging and producing energy efficient products and appliances have a positive impact on the environment. Fewer consumers are convinced of the environmental impact of local products (59%), fair trade products (51%) and products not tested on animals (44%).
Belief in the impact of “local” products is highest in North America, where 65 percent of consumers believe these products have a positive impact on the environment.
For more detail and regional insights, download: 2011 Sustainable Efforts & Environmental Concerns.