Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Consumers' Concern: Economy over the Environment

In addition to being a media producer/filmmaker, I also have a background in marketing: Here's an interesting article from the American Marketing Association regarding the results of the 2008 ImagePower Green Brands Survey (click here to view video podcast) published by the Landor agency. The survey covered a range of U.S/U.K. attitudes and perceptions regarding the environment and "green" brands or companies.
The results would indicate, perhaps not surprisingly, that the environment is taking a back seat to economic concerns. More people are thinking about the short-term consequences of energy (ie: gas). In line with their concerns on issues of immediate self-interest, the "green" brands most highly rated were those that represent products that went in or on the body, like food and personal care products. However, environmental issues were not completely off the radar. Respondents still expressed concern but responsibility was perceived differently in the two countries:
  • Environmental pessimism. Sixty-seven percent of American consumers and 69% of Britons think we are in worse environmental shape now than we were five years ago.

  • Responsibility and accountability. In the U.S., industry is perceived the most responsible for environmental problems with 36% of American consumers look to government to provide the policies and standards to advance environmental change. Conversely, U.K. consumers are more likely to accept their part of the blame.

So, we need to keep the flame alive, even if the consumer's interest may seem temporarily placed elsewhere. Particularly since many of our economic woes are in some degree or another tied in with environmental issues that are impacting us now or will impact us in the near future. Energy is a perfect example: our solutions to our energy crisis will be the result of our needs combined with what environmental impact they will impose (alternative energy, carbon emissions/footprint, global warming). Though we may be focused on one right now, the two - energy and the environment - are forever linked.

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