Like many marketers, purveyors of environmentally
focused products and services tend to concentrate on youth demographics.
After all, these younger generations are growing up in a culture
steeped in environmental awareness.
Burst Media noted that US Internet users ages 18 to 24 had a greater
tendency to fully integrate green behavior into their daily lifestyles
than did their older counterparts. Nearly 10% of respondents in that
age group said they "completely" incorporated environmentalism into
their lives. The group ages 25 to 34 ranked second-highest, at 6.3%,
while other groups hovered in the 3% to 5% range.
It should be noted that the Burst survey categorized its responses
according to the degree to which people adopted eco-friendly habits,
and the vast majority of respondents across all age groups put
themselves in the "somewhat" category—leaving open the possibility that
different perceptions among respondents of "somewhat" and "completely"
could color the survey findings.
A JupiterResearch study of US teen Internet users found that green
teens, who are especially concerned about or committed to environmental
causes, were noticeably more likely than other teens to engage in
e-commerce, visit movie or mobile content Websites, participate in
chat rooms and use digital photo services.
This finding correlates greenness with overall engagement in new
technologies and online social behavior. Any marketer seeking to
connect with the teen audience should take note of the potentially
powerful link between environmental sensitivity and a willingness to
use online channels for e-commerce, social networking, and content
consumption and sharing.
Despite this correlation between youth and environmental
consciousness, other studies have noted that older Internet users are
more likely to take specific measures to curtail their consumption of
A Harris Interactive poll of US Internet users' environmental
activities found that mature respondents (ages 63 and older) were the
most likely group to engage in energy reduction in their homes,
purchase energy-efficient appliances, buy more locally grown food and
break their bottled water habits. Further, in the first two of those
categories, the second-most-active group was the baby boomer generation
(ages 44 to 62).
A 2007 survey of the shopping behaviors of US baby boomers by AARP
and Focalyst found that 70% of respondents—an estimated 40 million
boomers—use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands.
These "green boomers" are more demanding of quality in the products
and services they buy, more attuned to advertising and more likely to
exercise brand loyalty than other members of their generation,
according to AARP and Focalyst.
"We anticipate that as time goes on, more and
more boomer shoppers will simply expect brands to be eco-friendly," said Heather Stern, director of marketing at Focalyst, in a statement. "Rather than this being a point of brand differentiation, it will be a
price of entry."