Super Green Consumers Indulge Taste for Bling

by | Aug 5, 2011

“Super green” consumers – those engaged in the highest amount of environmentally-friendly activities – are top earners with a penchant for luxury items, according to a report from Scarborough Research.

Super greenies account for five percent of U.S. adults and are 76 percent more likely than the average adult to have an annual household income of $150,000 or greater, according to the report, All About the Super Greenies (pdf). These consumers are more likely to own homes valued above $500,000, as well as to own second homes, and, additionally, out-pace the U.S. population when it comes to having a diverse investment portfolio, Scarborough said.

“Today’s environmentalists have traded sandals and hemp for cashmere and a Lexus,” vice president of marketing Deirdre McFarland said. “As the American economy continues to try to find its footing, luxury marketers – or, really, any marketer who wants to capture the American high spending population – could benefit from green-focused marketing, promotions and products.”

The super green are far more likely than the average adult to spend upwards of $500 a year on cosmetics or fine jewelry. They are 49 percent more likely to plan to buy a new luxury vehicle in the coming year, and 77 percent more likely to plan to spend upwards of $45,000 on new car purchases in the household.

The super greens are most dominant in the north-west of the U.S. and in San Francisco.

The report also found that super greenies tend to be locally-focused in their uses of the internet. These consumers are 51 percent more likely than the average to go online to check the weather, 89 percent more likely to use the internet to search for a business address or telephone number, and 60 percent more likely to consume local online news.

Scarborough said its findings have implications for the banking and household goods industries. “As the banking industry continues to seek new ways to expand business, despite the ongoing turmoil in the markets, financial marketers can think green. The robust investment and financial profiles of Super Greenies suggest that green-oriented messaging and marketing can help banks connect with this consumer group on a personal level.

“Super Greenies continue to invest in household goods, despite dips in the housing market,” the report added. “This provides good opportunities for brand development among home accessories stores.”

And the report noted that super greens tend to lead healthy lifestyles, by hitting the gym, enjoying a healthy diet and spending time outdoors. “Green is a lifestyle, and part of that lifestyle is keeping active and healthy. Cross-promotions with health clubs, organic goods manufacturers and healthy food brands provide a way to connect with the Super Green consumer while they’re engaging in things they enjoy.”

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