HINK ABOUT...
Motivations for making “green” purchases (Ranked by selection frequency)                      LOHOE Motivators vs.      LO...
san francisco april 10|11
                concourse exhibition center

                chicago may 22|23
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Lohas lohoe

  1. 1. WENDY COBRDA AND MEGAN KOVACS LOHAS and LOHOE MAKE GREEN COLORLESS AND SUSTAINABILITY A GIVEN T HINK ABOUT THE last time you stood in front of your grocer’s freezer gazing through the glass doors, daydreaming about ways to save the planet while looking for a frozen, sweet concoction to eat. WHOA! Stop right there. You weren’t thinking excited are you when you get something you desire and to your delight it’s also on about the planet, honestly, were you? Oh sure, you may have SALE?) So how can anyone argue that intention must be aligned with the end decided to buy some ice cream made of soy milk or tofu, or with goal in order to achieve success? “just 5 natural ingredients”—but your mouth watered at the thought Consumers whose attitudes and be- haviors are not fully aligned with the of the experience, the creamy sensation, the sweet, flavorful taste of LOHAS lifestyle—and that’s about 93% the treat. That’s really why you selected it, right? of the U.S. adult population (see chart at right), offer honest assessments as to why Hedonics—the study of seeking plea- now you walk or bike everywhere? How they buy eco-friendly versions of prod- sure and avoiding pain—is at work here. does it make you feel? Look deeply. ucts. You may find it surprising that the Many of us get caught up thinking that Even if you gave up the convenience of a motivations of “Enthusiasts” and “The to be truly sustainable we must tightly car, do you suffer from your choice for Rest” really are not all that different from align intention to outcome. If we honest- the good of the planet alone? NO! Even one another. ly reflect on how we choose to act and those who sacrifice get pleasure out of So what’s the takeaway? purchase each day, we’d quickly con- refraining from purchasing/buying/us- It’s not their fault. clude that seeking pleasure isn’t inher- ing, because ultimately it makes us feel Yes, consumers must do their part to ently wrong. In other words, buying ice good for the very reason we are protect- not waste, but as manufacturers and cream because it tastes good doesn’t ing the planet. service providers, if we don’t make it mean that the intent (pleasure) behind a However, utopia isn’t quite ours. It is convenient and pleasurable for them, sustainable choice is any less noble than true that humans seek pleasure and try to our chance of success is practically nil. “planet first.” avoid pain—however, we do that within Americans are a resilient people; they Let’s look at the flip side of LOHAS— the realm of resources available to us. rise to the occasion. However, unless the concept of Lifestyles of Hedonics and Consequently, economics drive our they derive pleasure, they will not easily Economics (or LOHOE, to go with the choices more than ever. For example, be shaken from their habits. That’s why vernacular!) as the way to remove the who wouldn’t want to own a Tesla? Un- programs such as Recycle Bank work preaching and get on with the teaching. fortunately, for many of us, our income so well. The rewards of measuring your For indeed, if the adoption of health and doesn’t permit that kind of purchase, giv- efforts and being realized for your sustainability is a universal goal, we en other priorities. In fact, the economics efforts are marketing dopamine. The should take the sacrificial, enlightened, of sustainability often drive behaviors pleasure outweighs the pain (inconve- “us vs. them” attitude and chuck it. Work more than altruism or evolved thinking. nience) of recycling. with human nature to make green color- Swapping out light bulbs and replacing less—to make sustainability a given. old appliances with energy- and water- Teach, don’t preach. Not convinced? saving alternatives is driven by a desire Consumers often don’t know the story Think of how you get around. Did for cost savings. And yes, the act itself of behind the products they buy. In a world of you buy a hybrid or perhaps a clean die- consciously consuming can be very plea- a million SKUs, it’s impractical to know sel? Or maybe you gave up your car and surable—dare we say, hedonistic. (How the history of all the products we use. Won- 34 LOHAS JOURNAL | SPRING 2010 www.lohas.com
  2. 2. Motivations for making “green” purchases (Ranked by selection frequency) LOHOE Motivators vs. LOHAS Motivators PERSONAL CARE FOOD DURABLES ENTHUSIASTS THE REST ENTHUSIASTS THE REST ENTHUSIASTS THE REST Health Safety Ingredients/Materials Taste Taste Cost Savings Cost Savings Ingredients/Materials Health Safety Ingredients Ingredients Quality Brand Quality Quality Lifestyle Lifestyle Impact Quality Beliefs/Values Brand Manufacturing Price Brand Price Brand Price Future Health Availability Price Impact Manufacturing Beliefs/Values Source Future Health Health/Safety Recommended Price Recommended Brand Brand Beliefs/Values Beliefs/Values Recommended Availability Price Manufacturing Materials Health/Safety Availability Manufacturing Availability Recommended Manufacturing Manufacturing Packaging Cost Savings Packaging Source Recommended Materials Cost Savings Packaging Current Health Packaging Recyclable Recyclable Source Source Recommended Current Health Source Source Enthusiasts = 7% and The Rest = 93% of respondents—Eco-Insights 2009 (30,000+ surveyed). Respondents scored on a series of questions relating to sustainable attitudes and behaviors, with Enthusiasts rated High on both attributes. derful new tools such as Good Guide—an why your product is better—explain why Convenience and economy often app that allows you to scan a barcode and they will feel good when they buy from trump altruism. quickly link to nutritional and sustainable you. Help them rank your product against Few would disagree, for example, that information—is great, yet will not engage other options. Using eco-guilt will backfire. public transportation is a better use of the masses, the LOHOE-driven popula- Embrace the concept “it’s okay if sustain- our resources. But in areas not densely tion. How do we provide information that ability is a byproduct” of their decision- populated, it isn’t always a practical people will use at ‘point of choice’? Share making rather than the main driver. Continued on page 47 > When you’re ready to flex your green marketing muscles, call Earthsense. With 30,000 respondents, our Eco-Insights database helps you pinpoint green consumers with laser-like precision, bringing you actionable insights into  Consumer motivations and barriers  Green attitudes and behaviors  More than 125 product categories  Eco-Attitudes & behaviors  Extensive demographics  Psychographics and lifestyles  Media usage  Religion and politics  80+ retail chains (grocery, drug, mass, club, discount)  Custom questions exclusive to your company Quite simply, Earthsense beings you the most comprehensive information on green consumers. Period. Now that's data that packs a punch. Earthsense.com Earthsense: Strength in Numbers. www.lohas.com LOHAS JOURNAL | SPRING 2010 35
  3. 3. san francisco april 10|11 concourse exhibition center chicago may 22|23 n av y p i e r seattle june 5|6 w a s h i n g t o n s tat e c o n v e n t i o n & t r a d e c e n t e r washington dc oct 23|24 washington con v en tion cen ter san francisco nov 5|6|7 concourse exhibition center WHERE ARE THE GREEN... LOHAS AND LOHOE < Continued from page 7 < Continued from page 35 We need to begin by thinking green, choice. (And while we may plan a smart- tentions are constrained by economic beginning with our own homes and life- er sprawl, we don’t necessarily need to considerations. styles and practices at our places of busi- live in a city to be “green.”) Buying or- An actual societal shift will occur ness. On the cusp of a new economy, the ganic milk is arguably better than buying when sustainable options become the door is wide open for the next big regular milk—but with a difference of up norm, because they meet our needs with- idea(s). The small green business of to- to $5 a gallon, it pits economics against out sacrifice. The burden must be shoul- day could be the Fortune 100 company health or societal costs. If we as a society dered by those who manufacture and of tomorrow. LJ want to really embrace sustainability, we market products and services; consumers must banish the premiums by making all shouldn’t have to work so hard to do the MaryAnne Howland is owner products sustainable by design. Until that “right thing.” LJ and president of Ibis Commu- happens, people will more often choose nications, an advertising and the path of least resistance. Wendy S. Cobrda, CEO & marketing solutions firm that Co-Founder of Earthsense, is a builds bridges between brands and commu- Conclusion: veteran of the target marketing nities of color. They connect consumers Is our green glass Half Empty or Half industry who has spent the last with brands, employers with talent, Full? It’s all about perspective and atti- twenty years building innovative data and purchasers with minority suppliers, and tude. Whether we admit it or not, we all consulting enterprises. philanthropists with nonprofits. MaryAnne want the same basic thing—enjoyment is vice chair of Social Venture Network, from the products we choose to buy and Megan Kovacs is Insights Diversity Chair for the American Advertis- use, whether driven by our own personal Product Manager of Earth- ing Federation—Nashville, and member of tastes and interests or a desire to mini- sense and leads efforts for Multicultural Marketing Committee for mize our footprint on the planet. Keep making Eco-Insights the most National Association for Multi-ethnicity in in mind that human nature is driven by comprehensive study of the green consumer. Communications, Community Outreach a desire to feel pleasure and avoid pain, for Frist Center. and that even those with the best of in- www.lohas.com LOHAS JOURNAL | SPRING 2010 47