What if everybody stopped believing in global warming but kept buying green products?

What if everybody stopped believing in global warming but kept buying green products?

You know the old philosophical question:  if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make any noise?  Well, we may have a similar existential conundrum around global warming.  Our 2010 Eco Pulse study is just in from the field and we’re furiously analyzing the data.  One big finding:  the number of people who believe global warming is happening and caused by man has dropped 10 points from last year’s study to only 48%,  In fact, this is a 14 point drop from our Energy Pulse study, fielded in August.

The reason?  Climategate, in part.  Though only a third of our respondents were aware of the emails from climatologists questioning whether or not global warming is happening, nearly half said it had somewhat-to-greatly reduced their belief that global warming is happening and caused by man.

Here’s where it gets really interesting, though:  on the surface (remember that we’re still analyzing the data) it appears that green purchasing behavior and propensity is actually up.  We’ve been advising our clients and our blog readers for years that most folks don’t go green to save the planet, and this is just more data to that effect.  We’re seeing comfort and convenience continue to take precedence over the environment, and we’re seeing health and safety concerns continue to gain ground in priority in some categories.

We have a lot more analysis to do, but the initial takeaway for all of you marketing green products and services:  people will keep buying green regardless of what they believe about global warming.  The trick, as always, is to identify the reason they want green in your category and build product innovations and marketing strategies around that desire.

About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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