Tag Archives: market

China’s youth high demands for low carbon goods

Businesses have been urged to accelerate their environmental footprinting strategies to include emerging economies, after new research by the Carbon Trust revealed young people in China could hold the key to unlocking mass demand for greener products.

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The survey of 2,800 young people across six countries carried out by TNS found 83 per cent of 18-25 year-olds in China would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it was reducing its carbon footprint. In contrast, just 57 per cent of US respondents and 55 per cent of young people in the UK made the same claim.

Globally, 78 per cent of young people said they want their favourite brands to reduce their carbon footprint, but again those in Chinese showed the highest demand for emission reductions with 88 per cent calling on firms to cut their footprint.

South Africa came in second place with 86 per cent of respondents calling on blue chips to reduce their impact, followed by Brazi at 84 per cent. Again the US and UK lagged far behind with only two thirds of respondents demanding more action from big brands.

The analysis was launched just days before the Carbon Trust unveils the first four Asian companies to receive the Carbon Trust Standard, its independent label awarded to companies that reduce their organisational carbon footprints year-on-year.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, said the survey results were “startling”, in that they revealed how Chinese consumers could lead the global demand for greener goods.

“Sixty per cent of young adults questioned in China would stop buying a product if its manufacturer refused to commit to measuring and reducing its carbon footprint, compared to just 35 per cent of those in the US,” he said.

“Perhaps it is the Chinese, and not the US. consumer, that really holds the key to unlocking the mass demand for new low carbon products necessary to deliver an environmentally sustainable economy.

“If global brands don’t build international carbon reduction strategies even faster, they risk missing out on the spending power of emerging economies.”

The research also revealed that Brazilian young people showed the greatest demand for companies to be transparent about their action on carbon, with 81 per cent demanding that brands to provide proof they are reducing their carbon footprint.

British young people showed a high awareness of the term “carbon footprint”, but only half claimed to be concerned about climate change.

via China’s youth reveal ‘startling’ demand for low carbon goods – 02 Apr 2012 – News from BusinessGreen.

How fast is the Chinese market changing?

According to a recent McKinsey’s survey about Chinese consumers, Chinese have taken to consumerism with ease, embracing thousands of new products, services, and brands. Three findings stood out.

Even in the face of rising inflation, Chinese consumers are more confident this year than in 2010 about their financial prospects.

the survey shows that the number of respondents who choose to spend more—buying in greater quantities, more frequently, or more expensive items in a given category—is holding firm. Whereas last year’s survey showed that consumers offset higher spending in some categories by spending less in others, this year there appears to be much less rebalancing.

Among urban consumers, the number of first-time buyers—a group that has been a major driver of category growth in China—is declining. as so many products are now both available and within the financial reach of large numbers of consumers. Big variations in the importance of first-time buyers have opened up, depending on the category and geographic region. At the geographic level, the penetration of certain goods may be high in China’s more economically developed regions, but plenty of consumer-conversion opportunities remain in less developed ones, which the government has targeted for higher economic growth

 

Finally, although brand awareness is rising, we see little sign that brand loyalty is following suit. In fact, more and more consumers choose among a growing number of favorite brands. The survey shows the extent to which consumers value brands more than price or channel, largely because they believe that branded products are safer, of higher quality, and more reliable than nonbranded ones. But faith in brands still does not translate into brand loyalty. In fact, both the number of consumers who always choose from among a relatively small set of brands—whom we refer to as “repertoire loyalists”—and the number of brands in their repertoire continue to rise. The average Chinese consumer now chooses among three to five brands in any given category, compared with two to three brands two years ago. In some categories, such as apparel, where luxury brands have grown hugely popular, the contrast is sharper still.

To succeed in this environment, executives will need to understand where the growth prospects lie, both at the category level and in different geographic regions. Only then will companies be able to prioritize resources and tailor strategies appropriately, to strike a balance between building mass appeal and meeting the needs of specific consumer groups, to focus on perceived value rather than absolute price, to modernize marketing tools for the Internet age, and to embrace rapidly growing online sales channels quickly. Companies must have both the flexibility to adapt and the skills to innovate to keep in step with the Chinese market’s exciting development.

Chinese consumers are willing to pay for sustainability

We have already talked about China as one of the fastest growing markets in terms of customer awareness towards sustainability: Chinese do appreciate and search for sustainability.

A study released on April 18th by global advertising and international marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather answer to the question that our customers usually ask: “Do consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products?”. The study shows that the answer is “Yes, Chinese consumers are willing to pay a small premium for environmentally friendly products”, but they place responsibility to fix China’s environmental woes on the government.

Convenience is the main factor driving shopping decisions for more than half of the 1,300 Chinese consumers across China, but 71 percent said they would pay up to 10 percent more or higher for some “green” products.

“Within about a 15 percent price band, if two items have comparable brand image, people will go for the sustainable option,” Kunal Sinha, the lead author of the study and head of the company’s sustainability practice in China, told Reuters.

“But if you were going to sell it purely on its sustainability credentials, it wouldn’t fly,” he said, referring to the range of green products and sustainable behaviors covered in the study, from toiletries to food and vacations.

Shoppers were willing to open their wallets the widest for sustainably produced milk, at premiums of 17 to 20 percent, the study said, an indication of how severely scandals involving tainted milk have damaged China’s dairy industry.

The study noted large gaps between the sustainable behavior Chinese consumers profess to and their actual consumption habits, a trend that also exists in developed markets such as the United States.

One measure of their optimism: more than 90 percent of those surveyed said they thought the sustainability movement was growing. But fewer than a fourth or respondents said they felt empowered to solve environmental problems on their own, and instead looked to the government to fix the country’s environmental woes.

Chinese consumers have long been hesitant to loosen their purse strings, more so than consumers in other countries at a similar stage of development. But domestic consumption is picking up quickly and many analysts think it has reached a turning point.

That means Chinese consumers’ buying power may be out-pacing their green ethos. The survey said the concept of sustainable living is not yet mainstream, with respondents saying those leading the movement in China are seen as idealists.

Joel Backaler, a director at the consulting firm Frontier Strategy Group who blogs on Chinese consumption trends, says mainstream Chinese consumers are focused on aspirational purchases in the short to medium-term and will not begin focusing on green and sustainable consumption for years.

“The vast majority of China’s middle class are for the first time learning how to spend and join the consumption phenomenon that their counterparts in the U.S. and Western Europe have long enjoyed,” he told Reuters in an email. (Source: Reuters)

American consumers punish greenwashing practices, a survey says

Nearly three-quarters of consumers (71%) will stop buying a product if they feel misled by environmental claims”

Two days ago an ECOFFEE prospect tried to convince us that sustainability is just a marketing word, and that consumers are not able to understand whether the retail product/store is really sustainable or it is just greenwashing.
We have already dealt with this kind of prospect – and many became enthousiast ECOFFEE customers and sustainability advocates. Data and market analysis are the only way to convince the sustainability skeptical about the counter effects of greenwashing practices.

That day, we showed to our prospect the Cone Inc. Trend Tracker recent analysis about U.S consumers and their behaviour towards greenwashing practices, dated March 24 2011.

Results are very interesting – and very motivating for those of us who believe in real sustainable business practices.
When consumers discover a claim to be misleading, they will take the following actions:

 

Three mock cleaning products were showed to consumers, who were asked to “purchase” the one they believed to be the most environmentally responsible. They were also required to indicate what they think the certification, claim or image on each package represents.
The results are as follow:

Another very interesting survey finding concerns the inaccurate interpretation by U.S. consumers when it comes to words such as “green” and “environmental friendly”. More than two-in-five Americans (41%) erroneously believe these terms mean a product has a positive (i.e., beneficial) impact on the environment. Only 29 percent understand that these terms more accurately describe products with less environmental impact than previous versions or competing products.
Last but not least, 59% say it is only acceptable for marketers to use general environmental claims when they are backed up with additional detail and explanation:
-23% say vague environmental claims should never be used.
-79% want detailed information readily accessible on product packaging.
-75% wish companies would do a better job helping them understand the environmental terms they use.

It is not necessary to add other comments to the above survey results, but if you are interested to know more, you can download the whole survey linking to the Cone Inc. website.

Retailers be aware: product customization might be the future – and it comes from the web

A very interesting article about a new trend which goes against the well-known rule of product massification: “One size fits all”. The article mentions several websites, mainly U.S based, offering to their customers the chance to create their own unique product. Ranging from Art to Chocolate and Perfumes, just to count some. this new trend is going to become big, especially because many “co-created” goods undercut their top-tier competitors. 

Searching what the Italian web offer is may be a little bit frustrating, because the search always reminds to non-Italian companies. The only great example of online product customization which is 100% Italian is Miraqo. The very clever website offer the chance to create your own chocolate adding a huge variety of high quality ingredients, which are also certified as being organic. If know of more Italian based companies which are offering online customization services to their products, just leave a comment or send us an email (Source: Smallbusiness.aol.com)