In its latest nationwide research, The Farnsworth Group turned its attention to the question: How “Green” Are Home Improvement Customers? The results of the 500-person study may help guide hardware and home improvement manufacturers and retailers, especially in refining their communications vehicles and marketing messages.  The consumer segmentation found that respondents fall along a wide continuum, briefly summarized as follows:

  • Ideologues place a high value on green products
  • Skeptical Believers believe green is important but are suspicious of green marketing tactics
  • Energy Savers tend to buy green if it can save them energy
  • Penny Pinchers are not willing to spend more on green products
  • Not Interesteds don’t pay attention to green products
  • Anti-Ecos think it is not at all important to buy green

There were discrepancies found between attitude and actions, which may largely be accounted for by different definitions of green. When asked what the term “green” meant to them, nearly half of the survey’s respondents correlated green with “environmentally friendly” while nearly 20% defined green as “energy saving” and approximately the same number thought of green as “recyclable/renewable.”

The research also reveals, the way green is defined along with its perceived benefits are both essential.  As to the importance of purchasing green products for home remodeling and maintenance projects, about 13% of all respondents feel it is “not at all important,” 56% feel it is “somewhat important” and 31% are either very near or in the range of saying it is “extremely important.”

This report covers consumers’ varying views of green advantages, as well as the skepticism many have regarding green claims.  It highlights the opportunity to better define green – and to promote its benefits.  As summarized by Brad Farnsworth, President of The Farnsworth Group, “Clearly, a majority of consumers are receptive to green products, but they need a greater depth of information to encourage purchase – especially information that points out how they will personally benefit from the product. Manufacturers and retailers alike need to spell out what green means. The category is ripe for growth.”