The Secret to Marketing Green Products

2016 survey shows a 42 percent spike in consumer interest for an eco-friendly product when marketed with sustainability infographics as against basic sustainability information.

Introduction

At Green Story, our customers who manufacture eco-friendly products have found that the use of infographics and analytics have resulted in stronger client interest and sales

Companies which manufacture eco-friendly products currently face 3 hurdles to consumer adoption:

  1. Differentiation from a myriad of similar products.
  2. To attract consumers who are not specifically looking for an eco-friendly product.
  3. Growing distrust among eco-conscious consumers due to fraudulent green claims by companies.

Impact of infographics

42% increase in overall consumer willingness to purchase product

109% increase in consumers “very likely” to purchase product

We believe the use of product sustainability infographics backed by analytics can help companies overcome these hurdles. To test our hypothesis, we conducted market research online across 23 countries.

Setup

For the survey, consumers were asked about their willingness to purchase products which were eco-friendly based on information provided as an image. This was done for two sets of products, an eco-friendly t-shirt and an eco-friendly messenger bag. The product information was shown with three variations:

1. Basic information:

Product image with eco-friendly features explained in text

Basic Information

2. Actual impact infographics

Basic information
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Sustainability infographics on actual impact to the environment (amount of CO2 emissions avoided, water saved and energy conserved)

Actual Impact

3. Equivalent impact infographics

Basic information
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sustainability infographics providing the impact in terms of equivalences rather actuals (cars off the road, days of drinking water and hours of lighting a bulb)

Equivalent Impact

Findings

I. Positive consumer reaction to sustainability equivalence infographics

Table 1. Consumer likelihood to buy with equivalences vs. basic data

Table1

There was a marked difference in willingness to buy between consumers shown basic information and information with equivalent impact infographics.

Consumers who were likely to purchase the product increased by 42% when shown infographics.

The number of consumers who said they would be very likely to purchase the product increased by 109% when shown infographics.

II. Positive response to infographics across market segments

Table 2. Increase in willingess to buy with equivalent impact for various segments

Table2

When further segmented by region, gender and age, consumers across every single segment responded positively to the sustainability infographics. The biggest increase was shown among females (74% increase), consumers in North America (63% increase), and those in the 18-30 age group (53% increase).

2.a. Men vs. Women

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2.b. North America vs. RotW

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2.c. Age breakdown

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III. Good infographics trump basic information at any time, but relatable equivalences are better than simply presenting actual data

3.a. “Likely to buy” response

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3.b. “Very likely to buy” response

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3.c. Likelihood of purchase across products (shirts vs. bags)

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Sustainability infographics generated a positive reinforcement on the consumers whether using the actual impact infographics or translating the impact into everyday equivalences (see 3.a.). Equivalent impacts were shown to be much more effective in getting stronger buy-in from consumers, as shown by 89% percentage increase in consumers who were “very likely to buy” (see 3.b.). It can be inferred that consumers can better relate to equivalent impact infographics.

To ensure that these results were not influenced by a single product, we asked respondents the same questions with another product. Both products showed identical increases in likelihood of purchase (see 3.c.). This proves the sustainability infographics work irrespective of product.

How does this work out with advertising?

Sample banner advertisement

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Based on the information in the banner how likely are you to click and find out more about the bottle?

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A striking 49% of respondents were either likely or very likely to click on the banner to find out more. This proves the efficacy of using infographics, especially equivalences for banner ads. Also interesting was the 63% positive response in the 18-30 age groups.

Conclusion

When it comes to eco-friendly products, our research shows that visually appealing infographics help grab consumer’s attention. Furthermore, well designed infographics leads to better understanding about the value of the product among consumers, leading to better decisions, and often a nudge in the positive direction for companies. It can also be inferred that consumers believe that clear and relatable information (i.e. equivalent impacts) is also of higher quality, which allows them to make more positive decisions.

The high response to the banner advertisement was proof of the efficacy of using equivalent impacts to highlight the environmental advantages of products. Given just this information, consumers were clearly interested (49% against the usual click through rate of banner ads of 2.5%).

While further research would be required, it can be reasonably concluded that highlighting benefits of eco-friendly products through equivalent impact infographics is highly effective for print and web advertising.

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